PSL News 7.3.2017 09:45 pm

Chippa and Wits end goalless

Gabadinho Mhango of Bidvest Wits celebrates goal with teammates   during the Absa Premiership match between Bidvest Wits and Bloemfontein Celtic  on the 03 March 2017 at Bidvest Stadium. (Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix)

Gabadinho Mhango of Bidvest Wits celebrates goal with teammates during the Absa Premiership match between Bidvest Wits and Bloemfontein Celtic on the 03 March 2017 at Bidvest Stadium. (Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix)

Chippa United and Bidvest Wits played to a goalless draw in a hard-fought Absa Premiership clash played at the Sisa Dukashe Stadium on Tuesday night.

As much as both teams tried, it was a night in which there was never going to be a goal. In short, if they’d played for another few hours, it would still have been goalless.

For Wits, though, the point was enough to take them back to the top of the PSL standings, level on 38 points with second-placed Cape Town City, with the Johannesburg side having a better goal difference.

Chippa were without head coach Dan Malesela for the encounter. He is currently recovering in hospital after being admitted on Sunday complaining of chest pains. In place of Malesela, assistant-coach Mbuyiselo Sambu called the shots from the bench.

Wits coach Gavin Hunt has never been scared to blood young footballers – and, for the fixture against Chippa, he felt it was time to hand a debut to teenager Reeve Frosler.

In a tight opening 45 minutes, in which neither side was prepared to give an inch, play was restricted to dour midfield exchanges. The Clever Boys’ midfield enforcers Thabang Monare and Granwald Scott got stuck in for Wits, but they found it tough going against Chippa captain Thami Sangweni. In attack, Daine Klate and Gabadinho Mhango struggled to get the service they rely on to make things happen.

With the score goalless at half-time, Chippa looked to the bench for inspiration just three minutes after the break, replacing Paseka Mako with Sandile Zuke.

But the second period continued in similar fashion to the first as neither team was able to find a way to break down the other’s defence. More substitutions followed, with Wits SA U20 star Phakamani Mahlambi coming on for Mhango, while Chippa replaced Buyani Sali and Andile Mbenyane with Sello Jaftha and Rhulani Manzini. With five minutes to go, and Wits desperate to snatch a late winner, Hunt brought on striker Eleazar Rodgers for Klate.

But not even Rodgers’ goal-poaching presence could spark things, and the teams had to settle for a point each.

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