The Cape Town derby between Santos and Chippa United in the Promotion/Relegation tournament ended goalless at Athlone Stadium on Wednesday night.
The People’s Team remain top of the three-way group standings on four points from two matches. Chippa have two points and Thanda Royal Zulu have one point to their name.
After a tame start to the match, in which Santos had the majority of possession and made the early running, Chippa gradually began to find their rhythm and threatened to score through former Ajax Cape Town midfielder Mfundo Shumana.
The dreadlocked player twice forced Santos’ Pa Demba Toure into tipping the ball over his crossbar, with a shot in the 25th minute and a flicked header soon after, though on both occasions the big goalkeeper looked relatively comfortable.
Tashrique Goldman was also called upon to make a couple of decent saves, most notably in the 28th minute when he palmed a long range shot from Tyren Arendse away for a corner kick.
Ten minutes before the break, Chippa created their first clear scoring chance, with Andile Mbenyane playing a great through ball to put Petrus Ngebo in on goal, but the striker pulled his shot wide with only the ‘keeper to beat.
But the best chance of the half arrived for Santos just before the break, with Erwin Isaacs providing a peach of a cross from the right flank that Bheki Shabangu should have buried in the back of the net. Instead he headed the ball back toward where the cross had come from when it was actually easier to have scored.
The opening 20 minutes of the second half saw neither side able to stamp their authority on the game, and the goalkeepers were called into action far less than in the first 45 minutes as hopeful long range efforts were all that the attacks could muster.
Chippa, like in the first half, gradually began to take control of the midfield area and put their more illustrious opponents under pressure, but it was Santos who should have broken the deadlock on 74 minutes through Erwin Isaacs, but Goldman came up with a good save to keep the score line blank.
The Chippa ‘keeper made an even better save with just ten minutes to play, again denying Isaacs a moment of glory after the speedy attacker has sprinted onto a knock-down from Rodgers before cracking a left-footed shot on target.
Isaacs continued to look the man most likely to break the deadlock but it simply wasn’t his night. On 86 minutes he finally had the beating of Goldman, but his close range effort rebounded off the upright, summing up the kind of frustrating night he and Santos endured.
Santos: Touray, Ntloana, W. Arendse, Morris, Skippers, T. Arendse, Chimodzi, Isaacs, Shabangu (Armogam 63’), King (Sopio 82’), Rodgers (Wana 84’)
Chippa: Goldman, Khubeka, Sithole, Ntombayithethi, Matomate, Ntshingila (Rhode 55’), Pietersen, Sali, Shumana, Mbenyane, Ngebo (Nhlapo 72’)
© Backpage TXT