A solitary goal from Abel Mabaso was enough for Chippa United to beat Kaizer Chiefs 1-0 in an Absa Premiership clash at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Wednesday night.
In the wake of the hard fought win, the Port Elizabeth-based side have now conjured 19 points from 13 outings, with victory moving the Chilli Boys up to second spot on the log standings.
The hosts had the upper hand from the first whistle and duly took the lead with a goal in the fifth minute through Mabaso.
Mark Mayambela skillfully beat Teenage Hadebe on the left wing before laying a wonderful cross for an unmarked Mabaso, who easily tapped home past Itumeleng Khune.
The encounter was evenly balanced after that with the Soweto giants showing a sense of urgency, but they could not penetrate the Chilli Boys defence.
Coach Teboho Moloi’s men kept Chiefs under pressure, and were only denied a second in 24th minute by Khune who produced a fine save to deny Moeketsi Sekola’s powerful header from finding the back of the net.
Eight minutes later, Hendrik Ekstein showed his class in the box and beat his marker, but could not score past Daniel Akpeyi from the near post as hist attempt rattled the woodwork.
Towards the 40th minute, Amakhosi kept Akpeyi busy as they knocked on the door for an equaliser, but the Nigerian keeper was solid as he punched away Siphiwe Tshabalala’s set piece.
Despite Chiefs’ efforts to unlock the Chippa defence, the fast-paced opening half ended 1-0 in favour of the hosts.
Both sides started the second stanza at a high tempo and after the loose ball fell into Ekstein’s path, he could only manage to sky his effort from close range.
Both sides fired blanks after the hour mark as the pace slowed down, but the visitors came close to the equalizer as James Okwuosa cleared George Maluleka’s set piece from the goal line in the 71st minute.
With 11 minutes to go, Chippa pushed for a second goal but Hadebe was alert to sweep away Katlego Mashego’s attempt which was heading into the open net.
Coach Steve Komphela’s men upped the ante in the last six minutes, yet Akpeyi was equal to the task to punch away Gustavo Paez’s header from close range.
United held on to their slender lead as the defeat leaves Chiefs sitting at No 7 on the log table with 16 points from 13 games – the result ended their four-match unbeaten run.
Chippa United 1
Kaizer Chiefs 0
Chippa United: Akpeyi, Macheke, Mako (Mbokoma 65′), Konqobe, Okwuosa, Maphanga, Mabaso, Mdlindzo, Lentjies (Zuke 86′), Mayambela (Mashego 75′), Sekola
Kaizer Chiefs: Khune, Cardoso, Hadebe, Ngezana, Zulu, Katsande, Maluleka, Tshabalala (Jayiya 84′), Molangoane, Ekstein (Paez 55′), Parker (Zuma 78′)