Chippa avoid Mpheni banana skin

Defenders lose
Ronald Pfumbidzai broke the deadlock in the 31st minute, and Diego Appollis stepped off the bench to seal a welcome victory for Kurt Lentjies' side 20 minutes from time to end the Bulls' fairytale run.
Chippa United evaded another giant killing in the Nedbank Cup after they beat Mpheni Home Defenders 2-0 in the round of 16 at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Chippa were hoping to go on another deep run in the tournament with Lentjies, who was still part of the squad that went all the way to the final in 2021, while Mpheni harboured ambitions of becoming only the fourth team from the ABC Motsepe League to reach the quarter-finals.

A close dream start

Dondol Stars remain the only third-tier club in the cup competition after they eliminated AmaZulu on Wednesday, with Venda Football Academy and Casric Stars still flying the flag for the Motsepe Foundation Championship this weekend.

The visitors almost got off to a dream start in Gqeberha when Lwazi Meek found himself free inside the box with the cup tie just nine minutes old, but Roscoe Pietersen made a brilliant recovery to block his shot.

Having survived that early scare, the DStv Premiership outfit went on to dominate proceedings in the first half, with Pfumbidzai attempting an audacious overhead kick on 16 minutes that landed on the roof of the net.

The Zimbabwean had the beating of Ludick Mkhatshwa just after the half-hour mark, however, as he slotted past the goalkeeper at his near post from Etiosa Ighodaro's pass to put the Chilli Boys ahead.

Sirgio Kammies nearly doubled their lead moments later with a strike that flew just wide of the far post, and Ighodaro could only find the side-netting from Pfumbidzai's lay-off on 36 minutes.

Dreams dashed

Ighodaro threatened again four minutes before half-time as he steered a header wide of the target, giving the Bulls hope at the break with just a one-goal lead.

Substitute Appollis dashed those dreams though when he fired home from inside the area on 70 minutes after being picked out by Brooklyn Poggenpoel to give the hosts a two-goal cushion.

Stanley Nwabali was called into action for the first time on 77 minutes as he pulled off a stunning one-handed save to tip the ball behind the goal, with Mpheni throwing caution to the wind in the closing stages in a bid to get back into the contest.

Nwabali wasn't troubled again following late pressure from the lower-league opposition and Chippa kept a clean sheet to advance to the next round.

Chippa United (1) 2 (Pfumbidzai 31', Appollis 70')

Mpheni Home Defenders (0) 0

Chippa: S. Nwabali, R. Pfumbidzai, A. Banda (D. Chauke 84'), R. Pietersen, Z. Mdunyelwa, S. Kammies (T. Mathiane 63'), J. September (S. Luthuli 76'), B. Poggenpoel, T. Lebitso (T. Mini 84'), M. Maphangule, E. Ighodaro (D. Appollis 63').

Mpheni: L. Mkhatshwa, L. Meek, T. Tshikweta (T. Kgamedi 89'), T. Benside, F. Matlabe, F. Nyundu, G. Nemutandani (N. Mavundla 76'), F. Magodimisa, B. Makanya (N. Shilenge 76'), L. Buasi, L. Munyadziwa (T. Madlopha 89').