Highlands Park Chippa United Telkom Knockout last 16 report
Posted: 21 October 2016 Time: 18:33
Gordon Igesund got off to a winning start as Highlands Park coach as his side displayed defensive resolve in beating Chippa United 2-0 in a Telkom Knockout last 16 clash at Makhulong Stadium.
Collins Mbesuma got the Lions of the North off the mark relatively early with a neat finish before Mpho Sitayitayi assured his side of safe passage through to the quarter-finals with a second.
During the opening exchanges, during which it was clear both sides were adjusting to the testingly blustery conditions, neither side stamped their authority on proceedings.
However, the deadlock was broken by the home side in the 12th minute as Chippa goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi spilled a deep freekick into the path of Mbesuma who found the bottom corner with a low finish through a crowd of bodies.
As the game approached the 20 minute mark Highlands park were indebted to Tapuwa Kapini, retained as captain under new management, who pulled off a brilliant point-blank save to deny Menzi Masuku.
The Chilli Boys took control of the game in terms of possession but were unable to create opportunities of any real consequence.
In fact it was Highlands who went closest to producing another goal as Mashumba, in the closing stages of the half, smashed a freekick inches over the bar.
Chippa came out of the tunnel for the second stanza all guns blazing and had the ball in the back of the net in under a minute but Masuku handled before slotting home and the goal was chalked off.
Kapini had brilliantly palmed away Masuku's initial shot after the forward raced in behind the defence and the former Orlando Pirates man was only able to convert at a second time of asking via a touch off his own hand.
Just after the hour mark Kapini was again on hand to keep Highlands' lead intact as he saved Paseka Mako's fierce close range shot.
For all Chippa's dominace there were always opportunities for Highlands on the break and Thanduyise Khuboni issued a warning to the opposition when he shot wide after collecting a ball over the top.
That warning was not heeded by Dan Malesela's charges as substitute Sitayitayi chased a through pass, knicking it off Marc van Heerden's toes before lifting the ball past the on-rushing Akpeyi for Highlands' second in the 76th minute.
HOME: Highlands Park
Coach: Gordon Igesund
AWAY: Chippa United
Coach: Dan Malesela