We've got news for you.

Register on TimesLIVE at no cost to receive newsletters, read exclusive articles & more.
Register now

Eastern Cape strugglers Chippa United continue to fight for Premiership survival

25 August 2020 - 16:46 By Sazi Hadebe
Chippa United need the goals if they are to survive.
Chippa United need the goals if they are to survive.
Image: Michael Sheehan/Gallo Images

Eastern Cape strugglers Chippa United might be six points clear of basement side Polokwane City on the premiership standings but to suggest that they’re out of the relegation woods would be silly.

The Premier Soccer League (PSL) bio bubble has been a bundle of unpredictability and only a reckless gambler would predict how the next few weeks are going to pan out.

Placed 12th on the log‚ Chippa are still battling relegation with four teams - Black Leopards‚ Baroka FC‚ AmaZulu FC and Polokwane City. All these sides are all still mathematically capable of catching and even overtaking the Chilli Boys if they fail to add a point or two to their current tally.

What will be worrying for Chippa’s fourth coach this season‚ Lehlohonolo Seema‚ is the Chilli Boys’s inability to score goals after delivering a paltry 16 in 27 league outings this season.

This is the scoring record that Chippa shares with fellow strugglers Baroka‚ and it is one of the big factors that have contributed immensely to the Port Elizabeth team battling to move away from the drop zone.

Nigeria-born striker Chidi Kwem‚ the scorer of the vital winner in Chippa’s last game against Baroka‚ and William Twala‚ are the Chippa’s top scorers with four goals each. The now departed midfielder Thabo Rakhale is behind the duo with two strikes.

“We have to get more behind the opposition defence and that’s how we got the goal‚” Seema said after Kwem got the vital strike in the 1-0 win against Baroka on Saturday.

This victory came after Chippa had lost 1-0 against Cape Town City and drew 0-0 against Highlands Park in the other two matches they’ve played in the bio bubble.

“After that (scoring) then we stopped. I told them the 1-0 lead is not good‚ the 2-0 lead is not good. We’ve got to be leading with three and then we can start trying to play‚” added Seema.

“We were worried that we’re not scoring goals. I’m happy for the guys that at least today (Saturday) we got something to show for our efforts.”

What can be a positive for Seema going to the last three matches is that they've only conceded 24 goals‚ the same as league leaders Kaizer Chiefs.

Reaching the magical 30 points remains a target for Seema going to the last three matches as the number could be enough for them to avoid the drop to the lower tier‚ and the relegation-promotion play-offs if they finish 15th.

A point or two in the last three matches against Stellenbosch FC on Friday‚ Kaizer Chiefs next Wednesday and Golden Arrows next Saturday‚ may be enough to keep Chippa in the topfcould bde light of SA football but Seema is determined to encourage his charges to gun for the full points.

“Look‚ there are no easy games. All the teams are fighting their battles and we’re just trying to grind and hanging in there. That’s why it’s so important that even if we go and draw the last three games‚ we’ll be fine. We’ll be OK.

“That’s why I wanted to make sure [on Saturday] because Stellenbosch are waiting and they’re looking good. So we have to go back‚ regroup and what can we do? We just have to battle on‚” Seema said.

PODCAST | Fan face-off: Chiefs vs Sundowns