Local News 22.4.2017 05:30 pm

Chilli Boys made to sweat for Cosmos win

Lerato Manzini of Chippa United heads the ball into the back of the net during the Nedbank Cup quarter final match between Chippa United and Jomo Cosmos at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on April 22, 2017 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. (Photo by Michael Sheehan/Gallo Images)

Lerato Manzini of Chippa United heads the ball into the back of the net during the Nedbank Cup quarter final match between Chippa United and Jomo Cosmos at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on April 22, 2017 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. (Photo by Michael Sheehan/Gallo Images)

Chippa United held off a brave challenge from NFD side Jomo Cosmos at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Saturday to clinch their spot in the Nedbank Cup semi-finals with a 1-0 win.

It proved to be a tight game with little to separate the teams for most of the afternoon. And until a frantic final 20 minute period, during which time Lerato Manzini grabbed the game’s only goal, there wasn’t much reason for the crowd to get to their feet.

There was an early opportunity for the home side when the ball broke to Vusumuzi Mncube, but he failed to get clean contact on his second minute shot and the ball was cleared by a defender.

Although Chippa were to enjoy the upper-hand in terms of possession, some committed defending from Ezenkosi meant there were no clear openings on goal for Dan Malesela’ team.

There was half a chance for Cosmos midway through the opening stanza, but Linda Mntambo’s long range shot on 23 minutes veered wide, while Chippa keeper Zama Dlamini did well to rush off his line to deny a goal-bound Wiseman Maluleke two minutes before the break.

Although the intensity of the match increased from both sides after half time, goalmouth action remained a scarcity. And as proceedings wore on, Cosmos began to grow in confidence as they sniffed an upset.

But their hopes were dashed 18 minutes from time when Paseka Mako whipped in a great cross to the near post which was clinically headed in at the far post by Lerato Manzini.

As Ezenkosi pushed for an equaliser gaps opened up for Chippa on the break, but Phetolo Sekome fired a shot narrowly wide before Pentjie Zulu squandered a great chance through some indecision in the dying seconds of the match.

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# Team GP Pts
1 Bidvest Wits 30 60
2 Sundowns 30 57
3 Cape Town City 30 55
4 Kaizer Chiefs 30 50
5 SuperSport United 30 48
6 Polokwane City 30 43
7 Maritzburg Utd 30 38
8 Arrows 30 38
9 Platinum Stars 30 37
10 Ajax Cape Town 30 36
11 Orlando Pirates 30 33
12 Bloemfontein Celtic 30 29
13 Chippa United 30 28
14 Free State Stars 30 28
15 Baroka FC 30 28
16 Highlands Park 30 27

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