AmaZulu fight hard for victory over Chippa

Hendrick Ekstein of AmaZulu FC celebrates scoring winning penalty with teammates during the DStv Premiership 2023/24 match between AmaZulu and Chippa United at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on 27 April 2024 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

AmaZulu had to come from behind to beat Chippa United 2-1 in the DStv Premiership at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday afternoon. A hard working performance ensured that Usuthu walked away with all three points.

AmaZulu got off to a fast start and never let up in the possession battle. Nonetheless, it was evident that Chippa United had carefully examined their play and effectively counter attacked.

Sinoxolo Kwayiba of Chippa scored the game’s first goal in the eighth minute after a header struck the crossbar and he finished from close range with the rebound as it came back into play.

Usuthu maintained possession even after falling behind early on, but their defence was porous as they were frequently caught off guard and lost possession, which resulted in errors that nearly cost them another goal.

Both teams engaged in physical combat as they battled for the ball. Ben Motshwari was set up by Augustine Mulenga’s corner during first-half stoppage time, but Stanley Nwabali of the Chilli Boys stopped his effort as Usuthu continued to press for the equaliser.

With a one-goal advantage going into the second half, Chippa had a lot of work ahead of them because it was obvious that AmaZulu would not be easily defeated. The KZN team continued to push for the equaliser while maintaining most of the possession despite being behind.

Eventually, Usuthu’s defensive flaws were patched, and they began to attack more. In the 65th minute, Mulenga’s flicked header in the box set up Tshepang Moremi’s magnificent overhead kick, which gave the team their first goal.

Junior Dion missed a header to extend AmaZulu’s lead, but they were still the superior team after that. In the 84th minute, Hendrick Ekstein also attempted a counter attack move, but his strong shot was blocked by the crossbar.

Usuthu made every effort to find the winner during stoppage time, but their missed opportunities ultimately came back to haunt them as they were unable to advance.

A plot twist, though, occurred in the final minute of stoppage time when the referee awarded a penalty after Thabo Makhele fouled Celimpilo Ngema in the box.

The Chippa players tried to stop Ekstein as he was about to take the spot kick, but in vain. With a flawless finish, the attacking midfielder put the ball in the back of the net to give AmaZulu the advantage and all three points in Durban.

AmaZulu (0) 2 (Moremi 65’ Ekstein 90+7’ PEN)

Chippa United (1) 0 (Kwayiba 8’)

AmaZulu: V. Mothwa, T. Sikhakhane (W. Jooste 46’), R. Mphahlele, T. Fielies, R. Hanamub, E. Brooks (H. Ekstein 46’), B. Motshwari, C. Ngema, A. Mulenga (M. Mbanjwa 74’), V. Letsoalo (J. Dion 46’), T. Moremi (A. Chidi Kwem 82’)

Chippa United: S. Nwabali, S. Nhlapo, J. Chabalala, T. Makhele, S. Kammies, S. Kwayiba, B. Poggenpoel, G. Mosele (A. Magqwaka 32’ (R. Pietersen 70’)), C. Martin (R. Maarman 46’), S. Luthuli (K. Francis 46’), B. Eva Nga (E. Kambindu 46’)