CHIPPA United left it late in securing a 1-0 Absa Premiership win over Bloemfontein Celtic away at the Dr Molemela Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
The visiting team secured all three points via Rhulani Manzini’s 90th minute strike, the result seeing the Chilli Boys keeping their sixth position on the standings, while Celtic are 11th.
The Free Staters looked positive in the opening stages of the game, but suffered a setback in the 11th minute when on-form striker Abdoul Fiston was taken off after suffering a head injury.
For the most part though the early stages of the contest were confined to a midfield battle, with not too many clear cut chances on goal for either side.
The first decent chance of the game fell to Chippa, but Joseph Molangoane was unable to find the target with his headed effort on 34 minutes, before Celtic defender Bevan Fransman did well to clear Zaphaniah Mbokama’s dangerous ball into the box just before half-time.
Phunya Sele Sele showed more purpose after the break, visiting keeper Daniel Akpeyi only just doing enough to keep out Thapelo Morena’s shot 10 minutes into the second half.
Morena soon had another chance, but was again denied by Akpeyi, Likontswane then sending his free kick wide of the target midway through the second half as Celtic continued to enjoy the upper hand.
The game seemed destined for a 0-0 draw, but substitute Manzini had other ideas as he swooped in the final minute of regulation time after some excellent combination play from the Eastern Cape side to leave the home club empty handed.
Meanwhile SuperSport United defeated the University of Pretoria 2-0 in an Absa Premiership fixture played at the Lucas Moripe Stadium in Atteridgeville on Sunday afternoon.
SuperSport were in the ascendancy right from the start and duly took the lead in the 13th minute when Thuso Phala opened up the Tuks defence for Sibusiso Khumalo to finish sweetly with his left foot. The home side then proceeded to miss a few opportunities to increase their lead, with Kingston Nkhatha firing wide after being set up by Dove Wome and a Phala corner-kick headed wide by Clayton Daniels. Zimbabwean striker Nkhatha also had another inviting chance, but, again, struck his effort wide of goal.
The visitors, Tuks, though, made sure SuperSport were kept on their toes defensively by finishing the half strongly. Thabo Mnyamane whipped in a dangerous-looking cross, but goalkeeper Ronwen Williams was alert to the threat and punched the ball clear.
In the second half, there was brief suspension of play as there was some lightning around the ground. Once the game resumed, Tuks gave notice that they were determined to try to level matters, with Bongani Nyathi firing wide. Soon after, the University team’s Ethiopian attacker Getaneh Kebede had a gilt-edged opportunity, but was denied by a brilliant, close-in save by Williams.
SuperSport, though, regained their composure and had two quick opportunities, but Michael Boxall headed wide and a shot from Wome was deflected for a corner.
At the other end, Kebede had another chance in the 75th minute, but, again, Williams was equal to the task, tipping the Ethiopian’s effort over the bar.
With five minutes to go, however, the contest was over as Phala skipped beyond his marker to steer the ball home and make it 2-0 to SuperSport. – ANA