Katlego Mashego's miracle return boost Chippa for semifinal clash against SuperSport - Times LIVE
   
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Mon May 29 13:17:27 SAST 2017

Katlego Mashego's miracle return boost Chippa for semifinal clash against SuperSport

Marc Strydom | 2017-05-19 16:25:19.0
Teboho Mokoena of SuperSport United (L) and Katlego Mashego (R) of Chippa United during the Absa Premiership match at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on May 17, 2017 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.
Image by: Richard Huggard/Gallo Images

The return of veteran Katlego Mashego from what should have been a season-ending injury has boosted Chippa United’s attack for their Nedbank Cup semifinal tie against SuperSport United in East London on Saturday.

At 35 – and with trophies won at SuperSport United‚ Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns‚ and 22 caps for Bafana Bafana – canny striker Mashego can provide an intelligent‚ experienced head for Chippa in their first-ever Nedbank semifinal.

Mashego made a comeback from a potentially season-ending three-month injury – having torn the quads in both legs – starting relegation-threatened Chippa’s crucial 3-0 league victory against SuperSport United at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Wednesday night.

The player popularly nicknamed ‘Mahoota’ made way in the 65th minute for big striker Rhulani Manzini‚ who then promptly notched a hat-trick.

Mashego – signed from Sundowns in November – earned the praise of Chippa coach Dan Malesela for his toughness recovering in time for the Chili Boys’ end to the season.

“Katlego is a professional. He went home after the injury‚ did not just sit‚ but worked hard to come back to the team‚” Malesela said.

“He has not recovered fully‚ but he told me he would rather take a risk‚ than watch on the sidelines while the team is going down.

“He displayed an incredible attitude‚ and I shared what he told me with the rest of the players. His presence can only be positive for us going forward.”

Chippa meet SuperSport at the rustic Sisa Dukashe Stadium in Mndantsane‚ outside East London (kickoff: 3pm).

The Eastern Cape team’s mid-week win in the league against SuperSport took them to 27 points and fourth-last place in the PSL‚ a point above second-last Highlands Park‚ keeping Chippa’s survival prospects in their own hands.

It coincided with Malesela’s return – after an unsuccessful caretaking spell by assistant Mbuyiseli Sambu – from having been put on leave in expectation of being fired.

- TMG Digital/TMG Sport

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