Home Sport Chippa book Ke Yona semi-final spot after breaching Rockets’ fortress

Chippa book Ke Yona semi-final spot after breaching Rockets’ fortress

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Chippa United stopped TS Galaxy from setting yet another six-match unbeaten run in all competitions with a 2-0 victory in the Nedbank Cup quarter-finals.

Stanley Nwabali of Chippa United during the 2024 Nedbank Cup quarter-final match against TS Galaxy at the Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit. Picture: Muzi Ntombela, BackpagePix

Matshelane Mamabolo

THE ‘FORTRESS’ has been breached. The home record that saw most opposition clubs dread the trip to Mbombela Stadium has been broken.

Chippa United stopped TS Galaxy from setting yet another six-match unbeaten run in all competitions with a 2-0 victory in the Nedbank Cup quarter-finals. The Chilli Boys will now host Orlando Pirates in the next round while Mamelodi Sundowns have to travel to Stellenbosch in the other semi-final.

He may not have been given the player-of-the-match award, but you can bet goalkeeper Stanley Nwabali would have been the toast of the Chippa team in the dressing room afterwards.

The Nigerian saved a penalty kick to deny Pogisho Sanoka the equaliser four minutes from time after double handballs in the box.

And immediately thereafter, Chippa scored from the spot at the other end of the field, Roscoe Pietersen sending Fiacre Ntwari the wrong way as the Chilli Boys gained sweet revenge for the 2-0 DStv Premiership defeat they suffered at the same venue on December 30.

Bienvenu Eva Nga had given Chippa the lead on the half-hour mark for his third goal in three successive matches, the Nigerian heading in a long throw-in that was flicked over to him to direct past Ntwari, who was off his line.

Just three minutes prior to Chippa taking the lead, TS Galaxy watched in disbelief as Samir Nurkovic came within inches of opening the scoring.

From a well-worked attack from the right side, Lehlohonolo Mojela delivered a fantastic cross to find the Serb who flung himself into the air for a spectacular right-footed volley.

Nwabali could only stand and watch as the ball went past him but instead of nestling in the net, it ricocheted off the underside of the crossbar and back into play.

It was a miss that ended up proving costly for the home side as Chippa went on to win, Galaxy losing for the first time at home since they were beaten 3-2 by SuperSport United at the beginning of November.

And like on Sunday, they had then gone five matches without a loss in their own backyard that was confirmed as the venue for the Nedbank Cup final to be played on June 1.

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