Chippa United advanced to the Nedbank Cup semi-final after beating Bidvest Wits 5-3 on penalties at the Bidvest Stadium on Saturday evening, writes DYLAN APPOLIS.
The Clever Boys made their way to this stage of the competition after claiming a 3-2 win on penalties over Black Leopards at the Thohoyandou Stadium in the previous round.
Meanwhile, the Chilli Boys came into this clash after securing a 2-0 victory over Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on 16 February.
When the two sides last met in the first round of the Absa Premiership, Gavin Hunt’s men came out 2-0 victors over Chippa in December 2018.
Chippa got of to the perfect start when they broke the deadlock after three minutes as Thabo Rakhale whipped a corner into the path of Andile Mbenyane, who flicked the ball past Darren Keet at the near post.
The home side responded well and levelled matter after 20 minutes when Gift Motupa calmly slotted the ball home after latching on to a loose ball in the area.
Motupa had a chance to put his side ahead in the 26th minute, but the Wits attacker fired his effort narrowly wide of the target.
Chippa were then dealt a major blow a minute later when Mbenyane was forced off the field through injury and was subsequently replaced by Kurt Lentjies.
Wits enjoyed a good spell of possession after 35 minutes, while Chippa were comfortable enough to sit back and soak up the pressure.
Mark should have handed his side the lead with a minute to play, but the attacker blazed his shot wide of goal.
However, Wits’ persistence paid off as they were rewarded in stoppage time when Deon Hotto whipped in a perfect delivery to pick out an unmarked Terrence Dzvukamanja, who head the ball home.
Gavin Hunt opted to make a substitution early in the second half when he introduced Thabang Monare to replace Granwald Scott.
Motupa nearly extended his sides lead in the 55th minute when he beat his mark on the left flank before firing a shot at goal, but his effort flashed wide of the target.
Chippa were then awarded a penalty in the 62nd minute when Sfiso Hlanti was judged to have handled the ball in the area. Boikanyo Komane stepped up and made no mistake from the spot-kick.
Wits had a chance to take the lead for the second time in the game when Vuyo Mere delivered an inviting ball into the area, but his cross managed to elude both Motupa and Hotto.
The home side then took the lead when Motupa found space on the right before squaring a ball into the path of Dzvukamanja, who slotted the ball home to make it 3-2.
The visitors then draw the game level in the 90th minute when substitute Ruzaigh Gamildien rifled his free kick into the back of the net.
The two sides could not be separated after regulation time as the game was forced to be settled in extra time.
Chippa got the first half of extra time off to a great start as Rhulani Manzini slotted the ball into the net from close range after being setup by Lerato Manzini.
The visitors looked to have upped the tempo as Gamildien unleashed a left-footed shot from outside the area, but his effort sailed over the bar.
However, Chippa went into the break with a narrow lead over Wits.
Hotto managed to draw the game level early in the second half when he fired his volley past Chippa keeper Mbongeni Mzimela after latching on to a pass from Elias Pelembe.
Pelembe should have put the game to bed in the 119th minute after some great interplay by Dzvukamanja, but the Wits attacker blazed his effort hide and wide of the target.
Hotto had a glorious chance to win it for Wits in stoppage time, but the ball got stuck between his feet as the game was forced to be settle on penalties.
However, Chippa came out 5-3 winners on penalties to book their place in the semi-final of the competition.
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