Soccer

Clinton Larsen claims a major scalp for Chippa United

27 January 2019 - 00:30 By MARK GLEESON


A last-gasp header by defender Frederic Nsabiyumbva gave Chippa United a shock win over Mamelodi Sundowns in the first round of the Nedbank Cup at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth yesterday.
It was a dramatic conclusion to a game in which action went from one end to the other as the giant Burundian got his head to a corner that Sundowns' usually reliable goalkeeper Denis Onyango missed as he came out to clear.
It means new coach Clinton Larsen has won a second game at the relegation-haunted club.
Sundowns made six changes to their line-up but will still feel they missed a chance to keep up domestic dominance.
For coach Pitso Mosimane it is a target behind the African Champions League and looking to retain their league crown but, even resting regulars, Sundowns still put out a formidable side.
Lucky Mohomi and Sphele Mkhulise were given a rare run but struggled in the beginning as Chippa wasted no time in taking the game to their visitors.
Mohomi's lack of sharpness saw him give away a free kick on the edge of the area in the third minute and Manzini blasted it in with another of the rocket-like free kicks which are fast earning him a fearsome reputation.
It should have been 2-0 inside five minutes as Thabo Rakhale broke free but his touch let the ball get away from him and gave Onyango a chance to come out and make a brave save.
Manzini then whistled another thunderbolt of a free kick wide and Rakhale missed a sitter in the 20th minute.
Just past the half hour mark Sundowns defenders backed off to allow Tercious Malepe to fire a speculative effort against the bar. But from the clearance Gaston Sirino played a delightful pass to Mahlambi who finished into the corner.
Just after halftime Andile Jali's first game since mid-December ended with a recurrence of his troublesome hamstring injury.
Chippa snatched victory with virtually the last touch of the game.

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