local soccer 29.4.2017 09:07 pm

Chiefs and Supersport share the spoils

Reneilwe Letsholonyane of Supersport United evades a tackle from Willard Katsande of Kaizer Chiefs. (Sydney Mahlangu /BackpagePix)

Reneilwe Letsholonyane of Supersport United evades a tackle from Willard Katsande of Kaizer Chiefs. (Sydney Mahlangu /BackpagePix)

Two first-half strikes by Siphiwe Tshabalala stunned Supersport United, but it was not enough to prevent a 2-2 scoreline in an Absa Premiership match played at a wet Mbombela Stadium on Saturday evening.

Following their elimination in the quarterfinals of the Nedbank Cup on penalties by the same opposition last weekend, Chiefs were on a mission to keep their league title hopes alive, and took the game to the hosts, with Siphiwe Tshabalala’s opening goal being well worth the ticket money to watch.

The former Bafana Bafana midfielder chipped the ball home form the edge of the box over the head of Supersport and former Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper Reyaad Pieterse in the 14th minute. Chiefs could well have been two goals up by then, as striker Bernard Parker could only watch a minute earlier, as his shot rebounded off the Supersport crossbar and out of play.

Chiefs’ former Chippa United winger Joseph Molangoane, who is looking sharper with every game played, was also unlucky not to get on to the scoresheet in the first half, when his shot on target, was well kept out by Pieterse, as Chiefs gained momentum in the rain.

The Tshwane-based side tried hard to get back into the match, and were on equal terms in the 23rd minute thanks to the efforts of two former Chiefs midfielders. Mandla Masango, found the back of the Amakhosi goal-net in curling the ball in at the far post, wide of young goalkeeper Bruce Bvuma, after receiving a great return pass from his former Chiefs team-mate Reneilwe Letsholonyane.

Bvuma, playing his second match for the Amakhosi after making his debut in the team’s 3-2 defeat against Cape Town City earlier in the week, put in a solid performance, and looks a quality glovesman in the absence of Bafana Bafana captain Itumeleng Khune who picked up an injury during last week’s Nedbank Cup fixture against Supersport.

Chiefs second goal came in the 35th minute thanks to a pinpoint pass by defender Ramahlwe Mphahlele which set up Tshabalala to fire home.

Just when the match seemed to be drifting in favour of a Chiefs win, Supersport winger Aubrey Modiba blasted the ball home from close range in the 90th minute, to ensure a drawn match result.

The point earned by Chiefs takes them to 46 points from 26 games, but four points behind log-leaders African champions Sundowns (who have two matches in hand), with Cape Town City (49 points from 25 games) and Bidvest Wits (48 points from 24 games) also above them.

While Chiefs still have an outside chance of lifting the covered league trophy and at worst look likely for a top four finish to book their place in next season’s CAF Confederation Cup, Supersport’s league title dreams may well have ended as they sit on 41 points from 25 matches.

Next up for Chiefs is league action in hosting Golden Arrows next Saturday, while Supersport are home to Bloemfontein Celtic on Wednesday.

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