Chippa relagation woes pile up

Chippa United’s hopes of moving clear of the Absa Premiership relegation zone suffered a blow on Wednesday night when they were beaten 2-1 at home by Bloemfontein Celtic.

The match at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium saw the Chilli Boys take the lead through Andile Mbenyane, but an equaliser from Lerato Lamola, a red card for Manti Moholo and a late own goal from Chris Komane saw all three points leave with the visitors.

Chippa started the game in a very attacking frame of mind and had the first effort within the opening 60 seconds, as Thamsanqa Sangweni got away a shot that was safely held by goalkeeper Patrick Tignyemb.

That set the tone for much of the first half, with the Eastern Cape team dominating play and creating more chances than their visitors, who struggled to cope with the fluidity and determination of the home side.

The Chilli Boys deservedly claimed the lead on the half hour mark, with Andile Mbenyane getting on the end of William Twala’s assist and beating Tignyemb with a right-footed shot to make it 1-0.

Celtic opted for a tactical reshuffle at the start of the second half, with striker Frank Mhango replacing midfielder Keagan Buchanan. The more attacking outlook soon paid dividends for the Bloemfontein side.

Striker Lerato Lamola earned a penalty after being fouled in the box by Manti Moholo. Lamola missed the initial spot kick, but scored just moments later to register his 12th league goal of the season and make it 1-1 in the 57th minute.

Seven minutes later the game took another turn when Chippa midfielder Manti Moholo, who had been booked in the first half, received his second yellow card and was sent off, reducing the home side to 10 men.

Chippa’s hopes of holding out for a draw were dashed in the 83rd minute when defender Chris Komane scored an unfortunate own goal from Thapelo Morena’s ball to hand Celtic a 2-1 victory.

Chippa United (1) 1 (Mbenyane 30’)

Bloemfontein Celtic (0) 2 (Lamola 57’, Komane og 83’)

Chippa: Mzimela, Cele (Akpabio 72’), Chipeta, Komane, Cloete (Mtule 87’), Moholo, Okwuosa, Twala, Sangweni, Shai, Mbenyane (S. Zulu 72’)

Celtic: Tignyemb, Fransman (Mzava 80’), Ndengane, Letlabika, Bilankulu, Ritchie, Buchanan (Mhango 46’), Mulenga (Gabonamong 87’), Nyatama, Morena, Lamola