Reigning Absa Premiership champions Kaizer Chiefs began their title defence with a frustrating 0-0 draw against 10-man Chippa United at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Sunday. Amakhosi had Itumeleng Khune back in goal and the shot-stopper was called into action immediately to thwart a Chippa attack as Roger Sikhakhane’s men made their attacking intentions clear right from the kick-off. United took the game to Chiefs and dominated large spells of the half however it was the Glamour Boys who had the better of the chances, with Reneilwe Letsholonyane setting up David Zulu and Bernard Parker but the home defence was up to the task as they blocked both attempts.
The hosts’ best opportunity of the half came in the 33rd minute when Joseph Molangoane drifted in between the visiting centre backs to go through on goal but the midfielder lacked the composure needed as he blazed his shot high over the bar. Sikhakhane’s side was reduced to 10 men in the 38th minute when Molangoane was sent off for a second bookable offence. Siphiwe Tshabalala came within inches of grabbing the opening goal after the restart but his curling effort could only hit the crossbar.
Steve Komphela’s men were seeing much more of the ball yet weren’t causing the Chippa defence much trouble, while in the other half of the pitch the Chilli Boys almost snatched the lead with 15 minutes remaining from a set-piece when James Okwuosa headed Erick Chipeta’s excellent delivery goalward but Khune reacted well to save with his feet. Both teams went in search of the winning goal but it wasn’t forthcoming as things finished as they started in Port Elizabeth.