Just as it seemed Chippa United were about to grab a hard fought point against Mamelodi Sundowns, that man Peter Shalulile scored in optional time to grab the defending champions a 1-0 win at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium yesterday.
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Shalulile was there to fire into an empty net as Mothobi Mvala flicked on an Aubrey Modiba corner, with Chippa goalkeeper Lloyd Kazapua stranded. It was a real shame for Kazapua, who won Man-of-the-Match after making a number of saves to make sure that Sundowns did not have a field day.
There was also a late blow for Sundowns, meanwhile, as Modiba was shown a second yellow card for time wasting, much to his bemusement.
In the build up to the match, Chippa head coach Daine Klate said he mentally and tactically prepared his team to play without the ball and told them to be patient, as he expected Masandawana to have more ball possession. And this was the case as Chippa chased shadows for most of the game.
The opening half saw Downs nearly forced into an early substitution as Mothobi Mvala clashed heads with Godspower Ighodaro in an aerial battle for the ball.
Mvala took the biggest knock and he had to continue the rest of the game with a bandage wrapped around his head. Mvala came into the game as a makeshift centre back as regulars Mosa Lebusa and Brian Onyango were ruled out.
After chasing shadows, Chippa players began to tire and Klate made a number of changes around the hour mark, bringing on long-serving Andile Mbenyane, Janovane September and Thabiso Lebitso.
Manoqba Mngqithi and Rhulani Mokwena, meanwhile, decided to introduce Erwin Saavedra and gave 21-year-old Cassius Mailula his top flight debut.
The defending champions will return to action this Saturday night at Loftus Versfeld when they host Golden Arrows, while Chippa will travel to AmaZulu on the same day.