CAPE TOWN – Cape Town City held on for a 1-1 draw with Chippa United on Saturday night at Cape Town Stadium.
On the balance of play, Chippa will feel they should have taken all three points back to Port Elizabeth as they had the better chances, especially after going a goal down, but City too played their part in a hugely entertaining DStv Premiership opener for both teams.
But in the end, the result was perhaps a fair reflection of the action on show. Both teams had periods of dominance with both having scoring opportunities.
City pressed well in the opening stages, not giving Chippa much space to pick out a pass and almost won a penalty within the first 15 minutes when striker Tashreeq Morris was brought down in the box, but the referee waved play on.
Chippa did not come to Cape Town to sit back to absorb all the home team’s pressure, though, and immediately hit back with two chances of their own. Firstly, central defender Frédéric Nsabiyumva produced an acrobatic overhead kick that just went over the bar before the lively Ramasimong Maloisane forced City keeper Peter Leeuwenburgh into a superb diving save to his right.
Full Time at Cape Town Stadium.
The points are shared between the 2 sides after a tightly contested battle 👊
— Cape Town City FC (@CapeTownCityFC) October 24, 2020
However, it was City that broke the deadlock when Craig Martin intercepted a poor clearance from Chippa goalkeeper and captain Veli Mothwa inside the box. Martin showed great awareness to find Mduduzi Mdantsane to his left, who neatly tucked the ball into the net for his first City goal.
The error from the Chippa skipper did not deter his players, and instead galvanised them to go in search of the equaliser. Nsabiyumva seemed to find himself more in the opposition goal area than his own and once again attempted the spectacular close to the stroke of halftime, which on this occasion forced Leeuwenburgh to make a smart save low down to his right.
Both coaches opted to make a change at the break with City bring on Surprise Ralani for Shane Roberts while Chippa gave Akhona Manqola a debut.
The fresh legs gave the visitors the impetus as Chippa began taking a stranglehold on proceedings after conceding most of the first-half possession to City. This ultimately resulted in Chippa finding the equaliser through big Nigerian frontman Augustine Kwem.
The powerfully built striker seems to enjoy his trips to the Mother City as he also scored the winner in the corresponding fixture last season at Athlone Stadium for Chippa.
With five substitutes allowed due to Covid-19 regulations, both teams looked actively towards their bench in search of the winner. New City signings Zambian international Charles Zulu and teenage sensation Jermaine George were thrown into the fray for their home debuts, but neither could make any significant impact.
Instead, it was Chippa that looked most like bulging the net for the second time with Isaac Nhlapo hitting the post with a header from the centre of the box and Kem having his shot cleared off the line.
Cape Town City: Peter Leeuwenburgh, Abbubaker Mobara, Edmilson Dove (George 69), Thamsanqa Mkhize (Zulu 60), Taariq Fielies, Thato Mokeke, Thabo Nodada, Shane Roberts (Ralani 45), Mduduzi Mdatsene, Craig Martin, Tashreeq Morris.
Chippa United: Veli Mothwa, Isaac Nhlapo, Frédéric Nsabiyumva, Riaan Hanamub, Gregory Damons, Xolani Maholo (Manqola 91), Ryan Rae, Ramasimong Maloisane, Dinge Vuyolwethu (Cezu 83), Sizwe Eric Mdlinzo (Maloisane 45), Augustine Chidi Kwem (Nga 77)