Chippa United earned themselves a 1-1 Premiership draw against Baroka FC at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Sunday to move out of the relegation zone.
Overall Baroka were arguably the better side, and seemed destined for maximum points when Matome Mabeba scored with 20 minutes to go, only for defender Bonginkosi Makume to put the ball in his own net moments later.
The result enabled the Port Elizabeth side to move up 14th place, above Free State Stars on goal difference.
Baroka enjoyed the better of the early exchanges, but Chippa keeper Mbongeni Mzimela – getting a rare start after Daniel Akpeyi left for Orlando Pirates last week –went largely untested as his defence stood firm, limiting the hosts to only a couple of half-chances.
And when Baroka did penetrate the Chilli Boys defence in the 25th minute, and Ranga Chivaviro prodded a free kick into the net, the offside flag came to the visitors’ rescue.
Chippa were to spurn a good chance to take the lead on 32 minutes.
After Baroka keeper Elvis Chipezeze failed to hold Rhulani Manzini’s free kick, the ball fell to Boikanyo Komane, who picked out Gladwin Shitolo with a cross, only for the player on loan from Pirates to miss an unguarded net.
Chipezeze was to have the first work to do in the second half, and the Baroka keeper did well to come flying out his box to intercept a goal-bound Thabo Rakhale.
However, it was the hosts were to take control of proceedings once more, as they had done for much of the afternoon, and Mzimela, well-assisted by central defender Frederic Nsabiyumva, had to be at his best to deal with series of balls into the Chippa box.
But after Mzimela had touched a Collins Makgaka header on to the bar, the pressure was to pay dividends for the Limpopo team as they made the breakthrough in the 69th minute, when Mabeba picked up the ball on the edge of the box and curled in a sublime finish from 20 yards.
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The lead, however, was to last for only a minute as Makume misjudged a cross from Kurt Lentjies and deflected the ball off his knee and into the net for an own goal.
The game there for the taking, chances followed at both ends.
But again, the keepers came up trumps as Chipezeze kept out a stinging Rakhale volley, before Mzimela was well-positioned to snap up a shot from Makgaka in what was the final clear-cut chance of the afternoon.
African News Agency (ANA)