Arrows pile on Chippa's woes
Benjani Mwaruwari (Backpage)
Cape Town - Chippa United lost more ground in their battle to avoid Premiership relegation when they went down 2-1 to Golden Arrows at Philippi Stadium on Wednesday night.
The rookies dominated for the first hour of the game, but they wasted numerous chances to put the result out of reach from Arrows.
The Chilli Boys made a blistering start to the game, with Philani Dlamini making some dangerous runs down the left wing, although he failed to find the end product.
Former Manchester City front man Benjani Mwaruwari, making his first start for the Cape outfit, managed to turn Chippa's early dominance into a goal.
The Zimbabwean burst through from 45m out after Arrows got their defensive lines wrong, and goalkeeper Nkosigiphile Gumede came out to meet the striker, who easily slipped past the challenge before putting the ball into an empty net after 10 minutes.
Mwaruwari had another chance six minutes later, but a poor first touch saw the opportunity wasted as Gumede was able to nip in and steal the ball.
There was an attempt by Welcome Qalanto shortly afterwards, but with Gumede well out of his goal, the Chippa striker fired his shot high and wide.
Arrows had a great chance just before the break when some brilliant play by Lucky Nguzana saw Norman Smith clean in on goal, but Smith's first touch let him down as Daouda Kassaly rushed off his line to make the save.
Just two minutes after the restart, the home side were again on the attack, but Dlamini's finish was very poor.
Joshua Sauls, on for the injured Mwaruwari, also squandered a good chance when he went around Gumede but then sent a half-hearted shot goalwards, which allowed defender Jabulani Nene to keep the ball out.
Having ridden their luck, Abafana Bes'thende were back in the game in the 54th minute when Smith's curling cross picked out Musa Bilankulu, who scored with an emphatic header.
And things soon got worse for the Cape side when Arrows surged ahead after Smith hammered the ball into the roof of the net from close range.
As the clock ticked down, Chippa upped their efforts, attacking relentlessly, and were unlucky not to level the game with five minutes left after Gumede managed to somehow keep the ball out following a bit of aerial ping-pong.
And while the visitors had a late goal from Thamsanqa Gabuza ruled off-sides, the Durban side managed to snatch three points.
While Arrows drew clear of the relegation zone, Chippa remained rooted to the bottom of the top-flight table.