Polokwane City have finally broken their losing streak in the Absa Premiership, defeating 10-man Chippa United 2-0 at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Rise and Shine had registered nine straight defeats in the league, but avoided the ignominy of a 10th successive ‘L’ thanks to goals from Salulani Phiri and Charlton Mashumba. The result pushes them up to 11th place on the log, just one point and one position behind the Chilli Boys (who see an end to a run of five unbeaten which had brought them 13 points from a possible 15).
It’s also a case of sweet revenge for coach Clinton Larsen, who was axed by Chippa earlier in the year but has now come back to haunt them at the helm of City.
Polokwane dominated the first half, enjoying more possession and creating more chances than Chippa. The likes of Bongile Booi, Mohammed Anas and Puleng Tlolane combined well and tested out Veli Mothwa on a couple of occasions.
At the other end, George Chigova was the quieter of the two goalkeepers but he was still required to keep out a couple of efforts from Augustine Kwem, who enjoyed little quality service but remained a major threat on the counter attack.
Chippa struggled to rediscover the crisp passing and intensity of play they demonstrated on the back end of 2019, while Polokwane’s lack of confidence meant they were unable to put together any convincing spells of pressure, leaving the game 0-0 at the break.
Chippa suffered a major blow eight minutes into the second stanza when defensive midfielder Boikanyo Komane picked up his second yellow card of the game and was sent for an early shower, leaving the visitors a man short for a significant portion of the game.
And this disadvantage was exploited by Rise and Shine in the 65th minute, with Salulani Phiri firing an effort beyond the reach of Mothwa after the hosts had built up pressure in attack and forced the Eastern Cape side onto the back foot.
Seven minutes later the Limpopo side killed off the game as a contest with a second goal – this time Booi did great work to tee up substitute Charlton Mashumba, who beat Mothwa again to make it 2-0 and ensure a first three-point haul for Polokwane since September.
The teams will return to Premiership action this coming midweek, with Polokwane hosting Orlando Pirates and Chippa United visiting another Limpopo side in the shape of Black Leopards.
Polokwane City (0) 2 (Phiri 65’, Mashumba 72’)
Chippa United 0
Polokwane: Chigova, Mvelase, Motloung, Nthatheni, Hlongwane, Manaka, Phiri (Nene 80’), Hlubi (Mngomezulu 70’), Booi, Anas (Mashumba 67’), Tlolane
Chippa: Mothwa, Damons, K. Moyo, Modisane, Malepe, Maphangule, Komane, Maziya, Maholo, Twala, Kwem (Lebitso 77’)©
SOURCED FROM THE PSL WEBSITE.