CHIPPA United completed an astonishing season when they beat Sevutsa Stars 1-0 in
the final of the Vodacom League National Play-Offs at the Philippi Stadium in Cape
Town on Sunday.
Substitute Robin Rhode’s 69th minute strike ensured Chippa would finish the season
as Western Province Vodacom League champions, Vodacom League National Coastal Stream
champions and Vodacom League National champions for 2011, representing a truly
extraordinary rise to fame for a team that only came into existence in early 2010.
Going into the final, both Chippa and Sevutsa had already clinched automatic
promotion to the National First Division by virtue of having won their respective
Coastal and Inland Streams in the Vodacom League National Play-Offs that took place
over the course of the week at the University of the Western Cape and Philippi
Stadiums on the Cape Flats.
As expected, the match was a tense, closely contested encounter played before a
capacity crowd, bedecked in bright red Vodacom T-shirts bathing in glorious
sunshine. Neither team was able to make a breakthrough in the first period, with
Sevutsa making most of the running and looking the more threatening. However, it was
a different story after the break, as Chippa, playing on their home ground, came out
with more purpose and began to wrest the initiative from their Mpumalanga opponents,
and when supersub, Rhode took advantage of a moment of hesitance in the Sevutsa
defence to slip through a gap and beat the goalkeeper, it capped a superb week for
the Nyanga-based club and their thousands of delirious fans.
“Congratulations to Chippa United on their magnificent achievement. We have
witnessed a fabulous week of football that has culminated in this exciting final and
we wish both Chippa and Sevutsa the best of luck in their journey to the National
First Division. It has also been most encouraging to see the fantastic turnout of
support from the people of Cape Town. Vodacom salutes you,” said Enzo Scarcell,
Managing Executive: marketing at Vodacom.
Steve Pila, SAFA’s Director of Competitions, added, “The football has been played in
the best sporting spirit and it is most encouraging to see the ever-improving
standard of technical ability and overall competence of the Vodacom League, which
augers well for the future health of South African football and we appreciate the
involvement of Vodacom in making it possible.”
A Number of awards were issued at the concluding ceremony.
Referee of the Tournament: Robert Sithole
Goalkeeper of the Tournament: Vusumuzi Magagula (Sevutsa)
Top Goalscorer: Diego Brown (Chippa Utd)
Coach of the Tournament: Michael Lukhubeni (Chippa Utd)
Player if the Tournament: Andile Mbeyane (Chippa Utd)