Aces draw leaves Chippa in danger

Two first-half goals settled the score as Black Aces and Chippa United drew 1-1 in their Absa Premiership clash at Mbombela Stadium on Wednesday night.

Aces started the game on the front foot and midfielder Onyekachi Okonkwo had the first shot on goal from an Aubrey Ngoma pass but his shot was way off target.

Then Chippa United bounced back with a sucker punch as Edward Manqele popped up between two defenders and nodded the ball past Jackson Mabokgwane from William Thwala’s supply. One-nil.

Aces surged forward just after the 20-minute mark as Ngoma made a good run down the right, but his final pass eluded Collins Mbesuma, only for Okonkwo to pick up the ball and have another crack from range – but the ball flew over the bar.

Then it was Chippa’s turn as goal scorer Manqele found space between the Aces defenders and his attempt at goal was blocked by Mabokgwane. Soon after, Aces replied on the other end of the field when Mbesuma’s attempt was saved by Tshepo Motsoeneng.

But just moments later in the 33rd minute Aces did find an equaliser when Lehlohonolo Nonyane powered down the left and into the 18 area before cleverly chipping the ball over Motsoeneng.

As the first half drew to a close, Ngoma rounded the keeper and passed to Mbesuma who somehow saw an effort blocked on the line. Then Bongo Jayiya sent a shot just over the bar.

Early in the second half Aces breathed a big sigh of relief after Manqele somehow missed a sitter when it was easier to out the ball into the back of the net.

Then Aces went close when they had a penalty appeal turned down after substitute Abia Nale went down inside the danger area.

There was drama inside the final 25 minutes of the clash when a red card was given to Chippa's fitness coach, Riedoh Berdien, for arguing with the fourth official.

The dangerous Mbesuma nearly converted inside the final 10 minutes after a good move by the impressive Abia Nale as Chippa looked as if they had settled to defend and hope for a draw.

Aces came close to a winner near the death after some good work by Edwin Gyimah, but it was not to be and the teams settled for a draw.

Black Aces (1) 1 (Nonyane 33’)

Chippa United (1) 1 (Manqele 4’)

Temas

Aces: Mabokgwane, Nonyane, Da Costa, Gyimah, Ngalo, Jayiya, Okonkwo, Mtsweni, Ngoma, Ndlovu (Nale 60’), Mbesuma

Chippa: Motsoeneng, Barends, Chipeta, Akpabio, Sambu, Cele (Sali 43’), Okwuosa, Twala, Cloete, Shai (Ntshingila 79’), Manqele