Chippa off to winning start in 2016/17 campaign

BY MARC JACOBSON - AUGUST 24, 2016

In their first match of the 2016/17 ABSA Premiership campaign, Chippa United maintained their long unbeaten home streak as they overcame Free State Stars 2-1 at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Tuesday night.

The last time that Chippa lost at home was in January this year, and last night’s match showed no end to that streak, as the home side dominated in all facets of the game, after playing up most of the possession against Free State’s attempted attacking flow.

Rhulani Manzini scored both goals for the Chilli Boys, which the first one came just six minutes into the game and of the new campaign. The goal was set-up and guided by debutant, Thembinkosi Lorch, who was one of six players who made their debut for Chippa in the match.

Some 10 minutes later, Stars equalled the scores from an avoidable error by James Okwuosa, after Chippa having prior, utilised the ball very wisely in the opening exchanges.

Manzini then extended his contribution with a goal in the 35th minute, which showed to be the final score until the close of the match.

Hasty and impatient attack soon after half-time prevented the Stars from equalizing in a missed-scoring opportunity. They had missed another chance in the 72nd minute, when on a scoring shot, missed a back-post chance.

With five minutes remaining, a clever back-heel pass from Bokang Tlhone had to be cleared off the line from Marc van Heerden, who was voted man-of-the-match.

Chippa played a progressive possession game, which had set the tone for their victory in racking up an initial three points for the new campaign.

Chippa placed sixth on the overall ABSA Premiership log last season and are one of three teams; along with Bidvest Wits and Cape Town City, to get off to a winning start for this campaign so far.