Chippa upset Galaxy to move into Nedbank Cup semis

Chippa United claimed an upset 2-0 win away to TS Galaxy in a Nedbank Cup quarterfinal at the Mbombela Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

The Rockets, unbeaten in five matches, were strongly tipped to win, but the Chilli Boys put up a sound defensive performance and offered a potent threat from set pieces and on the counter attack to earn themselves a third straight win across all competitions and a place in the final four of the Nedbank Cup.

Galaxy started the stronger of the two teams and put together some promising early moves, the best of which saw Puso Dithejane send a deflected shot just off target in the 12th minute.

On 27 minutes the hosts were inches away from a spectacular opening goal, as Samir Nurkovic was picked out by a cross from Lehlohonolo Mojela and struck an acrobatic volley which had the beating of Chippa goalkeeper Stanley Nwabali, but not the crossbar.

The Eastern Cape side then claimed the lead against the run of play on the half hour mark, as a long throw in was flicked on by Justice Chabalala to find Bienvenu Eva Nga, who showed great positional awareness to provide a backward header which looped beyond the reach of goalkeeper Fiacre Ntwari for 1-0.

Galaxy should have levelled the game on 35 minutes when either Mpho Mvelase or Sphiwe Mahlangu could have finished off a free header in the six-yard area, but they appeared to get in each other’s way and the latter put his effort wide.

Shortly thereafter Chippa almost forced a second through a hopeful ball lobbed into the penalty area which rebounded between Ntwari and others, though Pogisa Sanoka did well to clear the goal-bound ball from under the crossbar.

That incident also saw a facial injury suffered by Sinoxolo Kwayiba, who was replaced by Elmo Kambindu, and Chippa went close again in the 44th minute when Eva Nga sent a curling effort toward the top corner, but he was denied by an outstanding save from Ntwari.

The Rockets made a double change at the start of the second half, sending on Kamogelo Sebelebele and Orebotse Mongae in an effort to turn the game, and they duly dominated the opening 20 minutes after the restart.

Yet clear chances did not materialise for the home side, who also sent on Lebone Seema, Mlungisi Zwane and Mlungisi Mbunjana. They began resorting to long balls and crosses into the penalty area, but with Nurkovic having been withdrawn they lacked a spearhead with the physicality to cause Chippa’s defence problems.

However, Galaxy were thrown a lifeline in the 86th minute when Sirgio Kammies unwittingly handled in the box and the referee had no choice but to award a penalty. Sanoka took the spot kick, but was denied by a brilliant save from Nwabali.

And the Chilli Boys immediately earned a penalty of their own at the other end when Seema was caught in possession and then tripped up Aview Mqokozo. Roscoe Pietersen made no mistake with his effort from 12 yards to seal a 2-0 triumph for the visitors.

The teams will return to the DStv Premiership next weekend, with Chippa away to SuperSport United on Saturday 20 April, and Galaxy at home to Stellenbosch FC the following day.

TS Galaxy 0

Chippa United (1) 2 (Eva Nga 30’, Pietersen 90+1’ pen)

Galaxy: Ntwari, Munyai, M. Mahlangu, Sanoka, Kabini (Seema 53’), Mvelase, Khiba (Mbunjana 70’), Mojela, Dithejane (Sebelebele 46’), Nurkovic (Zwane 70’), S. Mahlangu (Mongae 46’)

Chippa: Nwabali, Kammies, Majogoro, Modise, Makhele, Chabalala, Mosele, Kwayiba (Kambindu 43’), Martin (Mqokozo 68’), Konqobe (Pietersen 46’), Eva Nga (Maarman 68’)