Chippa United FC 0-0 Mamelodi Sundowns
Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
August 24th, 2021
Uganda Cranes goalkeeper Ismail Watenga’s Chippa United held former Cranes Captain Denis Onyango’s Sundowns to a goalless draw in the only DStv Premiership match played at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Tuesday evening.
The fixture was for matchday two of the 2021/22 Premier Soccer League season following commencement a week ago.
Watenga joined the South Africa side in December last year as a free agent from Kenyan side Sofapaka, signing a 19 month contract with the Chilli Boys and has since gone ahead to cement his starting place in goal.
The defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns unsurprisingly started the better side, pressing the Chilli Boys to the back but were unable to break through a solid defense by the half-time interval.
The Masandawana’s best chance however came as early as the seventh minute, when Peter Shalulile ran onto Riaan Hanamub’s misguided and poor backpass to his custodian, but Watenga proved big enough to shrug off the scare.
Onyango’s team would continue to dominate proceedings as the halftime break approached, creating chance after chance and the opposition standing firm at the back to maintain an unchanged scoreline.
At the resumption of the second stanza, Sundowns held onto the ball and controlled the match until they were finally able to seriously test Watenga, the towering custodian proving big again to save their first short on target.
This moment was from a perfectly engineered cross from Mothobi Mvala to Shalulile, who rose highest in the opposition penalty area to force the Ugandan international into a great save off the header.
The former Vipers SC goalkeeper was again called into action and made the most important save of the game for Chippa United to deny Lyle Lakay from a deflected free-kick in the 68th minute.
Goalless it ended and climaxed a frustrating night for the defending Champions who dropped their first points away from home in this title defence campaign.
Both Watenga and Onyango played 90 minutes in the game and kept clean-sheets for their respective clubs.
The result meant that Chippa United moved to four points on top of the table, while Mamelodi dropped to second with four points as well.
Mamelodi Sundowns are the defending champions having clinched the 2020/21 season while Chippa United finished 15th and went through a relegation playoff game in order to remain in the league.