Chippa relegated, Aces promoted

The result means Chippa United will have to spend next season plying their trade in the National First Division as they finish the round robin play-offs on five points.

Chippa knew that anything less than a win would end their hopes of preserving their Premiership status for next season, while a draw for Aces would be enough to earn promotion.

The game got off to a positive start with the ball moving around the field with a great ebb and flow to it.

It was Chippa who made the first attempt at goal, however, when Zamaxolo Ngabo had to nip the ball away from the onrushing Petrus Ngebo.

The away side was dealt a blow as early as the 14th minute when Enrico Adolph had to come off due to injury to be replaced by Omar Hendricks.

The lack of attacking threat continued to disillusion both sides when William Twala supplied a cross-cum-shot into the box in the 22nd minute. His effort, however, fell easily into the hands of the goalkeeper Bafana Nhlapo.

Hendricks then tried his luck four minutes later with a long range free-kick which went wide of the far post, before Ngebo was left ruing his wasted chance in the 40th minute when he struck the post with a header.

Following a goalmouth scramble the ball fell kindly to Ngebo, who remarkably failed to turn his header into the back of the net as it struck the post and was cleared out of danger.

Chippa made a change from the restart by bringing on Mkhanyiseli Siwahla in place of Sindiso Nqothanani, while the substitute Welcome Qalanto had his shot saved by the goalkeeper.

Nhlapo had been Aces’ saving grace all game long and he continued to do so when he rushed off his line to pluck Siwahla’s ball in the 65th minute of play.

Chippa knew that a draw would not be good enough and Mark Harrison opted to throw in the kitchen sink by bringing on Stanton Lewis in place of their defender Vuyisile Ntombayithethi in the 75th minute.

The all attacking line-up seemed to rattle Aces and they were lucky not to have a penalty go against them in the 80th minute when Ngebo went to ground.

It was all Chippa in the remaining minutes of the game and, despite their efforts, they couldn’t find the goal that would save them from relegation.

Chippa United: Goldman, Ntombayithethi (Lewis 75’), Gilbert, Mvalo, Okwuosa, Sarr, Mbekile (Qalanto 56’), Twala, Sindiso (Siwahla 46’), Mbenyane, Ngebo

Mpumalanga Black Aces: Nhlapo, Motaung, Adolph (Hendricks 14’), Ngalo, Rooi, Zuke, Mmuso, Mosikidi (Hills 52’), Mtsweni, Sibisi, Qalinge(Masina 77’)

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