Chippa crush Thanda's dreams
Mfundo Shumana (Gallo Images)
Johannesburg - Chippa United beat hosts Thanda Royal Zulu 3-0 in their promotion playoff match at Richards Bay Sports Stadium, on Wednesday.
A goal in the first half, and two in the second, saw the more clinical Chippa ease their way to a comfortable victory over the former table-toppers.
Thanda, with four points from four games, were eliminated from promotion contention.
Chippa, meanwhile, move from third to top on five points with one match left against Santos.
The win means Chippa can afford to draw their final game, courtesy of a better goal difference over Santos, to progress to the Premier Soccer League (PSL), while Santos will have to win to remain in top-flight football next season.
The visitors struck the first blow as early as the sixth minute of the match.
Chippa unlocked Thanda's defence with a run by Petrus Ngebo on the left, and his pin-point cross left Andile Mbenyane with a tap-in for the opening goal.
Thanda worked their way into the match after the initial setback and began to dominate possession.
In the 17th minute, Peter Nwadike, for the hosts, rushed a chance from inside the box, and with time and space, directed his attempt into the crowd.
Nwadike again failed to convert a good chance near the half hour mark with another wayward shot on goal.
With an opportunity to level the scores in the 36th minute, Nkosinathi Ogle, from the edge of the area, fell off-balance with his strike, and his shot flew well over goal.
Shortly after the break, in the 57th minute, Chippa doubled their lead.
Thanda's defence was to blame when Mfundo Shumana was able to reel off a shot just outside the area which found the corner of the net.
Forced to go all-out on the attack, Thanda were caught on the counter attack in the 88th minute.
Buyani Sali made an unchallenged run on goal, drawing the keeper out, before slotting the ball confidently into the back of the net for a resounding 3-0 victory.
Neil Tovey's Thanda will have to wait another season to make it to top-tier competition.