Chippa United’s revival in the Absa Premiership continued on Wednesday night when they claimed a 1-0 win over Free State Stars at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.
The Chilli Boys have now claimed seven points from the last nine up for grabs, while Ea Lla Koto succumbed to their fifth defeat of the season.
Both teams struggled to find any kind of rhythm in the first half, with the defences very much on top. Stars were the first to threaten, as Yusuf Jappie looked to play Goodman Dlamini in on goal in the 10th minute, but the attacker was flagged offside.
Chippa’s Ruzaigh Gamildien had a couple of promising moments in the first half, including a fine cross in the 19th minute which was just beyond the reach of Andile Mbenyane, while Kurt Lentjies had a half chance quickly closed down by Paulus Masehe on the half hour mark.
With the game goalless at the break, the Chilli Boys looked to spark their forward play into life by introducing Thabo Rakhale off the bench 12 minutes after the restart, and the former Orlando Pirates winger injected some urgency into the hosts’ play.
On 68 minutes Chippa broke the deadlock, with Gamildien coming good on the threat he had shown throughout the game and beating Stars goalkeeper Badra Ali Sangare with a fine finish to make it 1-0.
Stars responded by throwing on forwards Linda Bhengu and Judas Moseamedi from the substitutes bench, but the home side’s defence held firm to secure three valuable points.
The teams will be in Absa Premiership action again this Saturday, with Chippa away to Highlands Park and Stars at home to derby rivals Bloemfontein Celtic.
Chippa United 1
Free State Stars 0
Chippa: Akpeyi, Malepe, Nthethe, Macheke, Modisane, Komane, Lentjies (Manzini 71’), Mayambela, Gamildien (Sangweni 78’), Tlolane, Mbenyane (Rakhale 57’)
Stars: Sangare, Ndiki, Tema, Mahamutsa, Phungwayo, Jappie (Jantjie 59’), Mahamutsa, Makhaula, Dlamini, Tchilimbou (Bhengu 70’), Rodgers (Moseamedi 74’)