Golden Arrows made it back-to-back wins in the DStv Premiership as they held on for a 2-1 victory over Chippa United at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Saturday.
The two teams went into the break tied at 1-1 after Eva Nga Bienvenu had cancelled out Michael Gumede’s opener for Lehlohonolo Seema’s side, who went back in front through Pule Mmodi early in the second half to clinch all three points.
The result seemed in jeopardy when the Chilli Boys were awarded a penalty at the death, but Nkosingiphile Gumede pulled off heroics to deny Mogakolodi Ngele from the spot to secure a second win on the spin which lifted Arrows up to eighth in the table as Chippa slipped to 13th – just one point off the bottom.
The hosts made a positive start in Gqeberha and had their first attempt on target as early as the third minute when Bienvenu connected with a cross from the left to draw a fine save out of Gumede with his header.
It turned out to be an important intervention as Arrows took the lead with the first foray into the opposition box four minutes later. Good link-up play between Nqobeko Dlamini, Nduduzo Sibiya and Mmodi saw the ball fed into the box via a deflection and Gumede was on hand to fire home past Ayanda Mtshali.
Chippa almost hit back immediately but Bienvenu failed to hit the target on this occasion with a header that flew wide of the post after latching onto another cross from the left in the eight minute.
The Eastern Cape outfit squandered a couple of chances as the fist half progressed, with Sizwe Mdlinzo sending a free-kick over the crossbar from a good position on the edge of the area in the 18th minute before Ngele curled an effort wide of the far post on the half-hour mark following good work in the final third.
However, they were back in the contest just four minutes later when Jemondre Dickens collected a long ball into the box and held it up for the arriving Bienvenu to slot home the equaliser.
The visitors nearly restored their lead on the stroke of half-time but Gumede was unable to beat Mtshali with a header he angled towards the far post, while Sibiya was wasteful just two minutes after the restart when he lashed the ball over the bar following an error from the home defence.
They didn’t have to wait much longer for the second goal though, as Thabani Zuke’s long ball upfield was flicked on by Sibiya to Mmodi, who fired Abafana Bes’thende back in front on 52 minutes.
The Chilli Boys looked to respond with Sandile Mthethwa forcing Gumede into a sharp save following a 67th-minute corner before Thokozani Sekotlong steered a header over the target four minutes later from Veluyeke Zulu’s long ball into the box.
Mmodi had an opportunity to make the game safe nine minutes from time as Arrows countered, but he blazed wide after good combination play with Velemseni Ndwandwe.
That missed chance almost came back to haunt them in the final minute when the referee pointed to the spot after the ball struck Sbonelo Cele on the hand. However, Gumede guessed the right way to keep out Ngele’s penalty to secure all three points late on.
Chippa United (1) 1 (Bienvenu 34′)
Golden Arrows (1) 2 (M.Gumede 7′, Mmodi 52′)
CHIPPA UNITED: Mtshali, Mthethwa (Mdunyelwa 80′), Hanamub, Pietersen, Zulu, Mkhize, Mdlinzo, Ngele, Dickens (Sekotlong 62′), Bienvenu, Lebitso (Matrose 75′).
GOLDEN ARROWS: N.Gumede, Zuke, Sibisi, Mantshiyane (Cele 62′), M.Dube, Dlamini, L.Dube (Ndwandwe 76′), Magubane (Fikizolo 76′), Mmodi, Sibiya (Mutizwa 76′), M.Gumede (Gumbi 83′).
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