A valiant Chippa United were denied their first draw of the season when Moeketsi Mvula struck late at Athlone to hand Free State Stars a 2-1 win in the Absa Premiership.
Chippa United kicked off their first home game in front of a cold and wet crowd at Athlone Stadium, and they were immediately on the attack when Mfundo Shumana forced Kennedy Mweene to make a save through his shot in the 11th minute.
On the 20 minute mark Paulus Masehe’s shot flung over the bar, while on the other end of the field Luyolo Nomandela’s cross was saved by Abduraghmaan White six minutes later.
The Chippa strikers weren’t having as much luck up front, so Diego Brown was brought on in the 27th minute in place of Philani Dlamini, but the tactical change didn’t pay off as the Chilli Boys found themselves a goal down as Dove Wome headed in a minute later.
Nevertheless, the hosts refused to let things slide when Welcome Qalanto headed the ball past Mweene, just after the half hour mark, to make it 1-1.
The African Cup of Nations winning goalkeeper was having a stunner of a game and he continued to pull off saves in the dying minutes of the half.
Luyolo Nomandela became the first player to be cautioned due to unsporting behavior in the 57th minute, before Chippa’s shot-stopper pulled off a great save to deny Taongo Dondo a goal.
Soriola Gege was added into the frame when he took the place of Daniel Cardoso seven minutes later, before Chippa’s skipper Gift Sithole was shown yellow.
Chances were few and far between for both teams, but it was the visitors who managed to sneak in a late winner when White accidently spilled Ouro-Akoriko’s shot to allow the substitute Moeketsi Mvula to score, denying Chippa their first league points.
Chippa United (1) 1 (Qalanto 32’)
Free State Stars (1) 2(Wome 28’, Mvula 88’)
Chippa: White, Khubeka, Matomane, Sithole, Ntombayithethi, Mnguni, Bovu (Ngebo 80’), Sali, Shumana (Ntshingila 67’), Dlamini (Brown 26’), Qalanto
Stars: Mweene, Sambu, Ouro-Akoriko, Mashe, Mashego, Wome, Cardoso (Gege 77’), Nomandela, Chivuta (Esterhuizen 87’), Thebekang, Dondo (Mvula 69’)-Backpagepix TXT