Kaizer Chiefs were arguably fortunate to escape with a point after being held to a 0-0 draw by Chippa United in their Absa Premiership clash behind closed doors on Saturday evening, writes MARSHALL GOUTS.
Giovanni Solinas’ side went into the game on the back of a hard-fought 1-0 victory against Black Leopards in their most recent league encounter, while the Chilli Boys came off a 1-0 loss to Mamelodi Sundowns.
Amakhosi made a number of changs to the team that did duty against Lidodha Duvha with George Maluleka, Hendrick Ekstein and Siyabonga Ngezana being handed starting berths.
The clash got off to a slow start with neither side wanting to commit too much forward in the way of numbers. The Chilli Boys had the first real effort on target when Ruzaigh Gamieldien showed great composure to control the ball in the area, before unselfishly teeing up Lerato Manzini who failed to direct his effort goalward.
Chiefs attacking duo Khama Billiat and Leonardo Castro were starved off supply and cut frustrated figures due to the excellent man-marking duties of the Chilli Boys’ back four.
Mario Booysen was presented with the best opportunity of the first half when he latched onto Castro’s cutback in the area, however the former Mamelodi Sundowns and SuperSport United defender skewed his effort.
Chiefs started the second half like a house on fire, but it was Chippa, who should have opened the lead in the 54th minute when a defence-spliiting ball from Gamieldien saw Rakhale go one-on-one with Itumeleng Khune, but Ngezana made a great recovery to help put the former Orlando Pirates man off.
Ngezana made another excellent contribution minutes later when he cleared a goalbound header off the Chiefs’ goalline.
It was all one-way traffic for Chippa who had Chiefs against the ropes. Gamieldien again showed his class on the hour mark as he found Manzini in space in the area again, however the striker was denied by Khune.
In the end, it proved a frustrating night for both teans who were forced to share the spoils at an empty Moses Mabhida Stadium.