Chippa United and Mpumalanga Black Aces played to a dire 0-0 draw in a PSL playoff match on Wednesday night at the Philipi Stadium.
Black Aces merely needed a draw to confirm their place in the PSL next season, while Chippa searched desperately for all three points in order to continue their hopes of staying in the top-flight.
Chippa started the match the stronger side, with Ngebo testing Nhlapo after Gilbert fed the striker with an enticing chip into the box.
Black Aces were struck by an injury early on, as Enrico Adolph had to be substituted due to a knock he sustained in the opening stages of the match. Omar Hendricks replaced the defender with 14 minutes on the clock.
The early part of the first half was devoid of chances as Black Aces closed ranks, making it difficult for Chippa to break the deadlock in tough conditions.
Ngebo had his second chance of the match with 31 minutes on the clock, after the striker successfully beat Rooi with a sublime turn, but he sent his left-footed strike wide.
The striker had his best chance of the first half nine minutes later. Mbenyane fed in a pinpoint cross, which found Ngebo unmarked in the box. With the goal at his mercy, the striker could only direct his header onto the bar, robbing Chippa of a deserving opener.
The sides went into half-time deadlocked, with Black Aces only 45 minutes away from a berth in the PSL for the 2013/2014 season.
Chippa United made an early substitution in the second half, replacing Sindiso Nqothani with Mkhanyiseli Siwahla.
However, the change failed to spark the Chili boys into action as the match continued to favour a stalemate. Another substitution ensued, with Welcome Qalanto replacing Asavela Mbekile in the 57th minute.
Qalanto’s introduction began to pay dividends as the sturdy striker added an extra attacking element for the home side, making them more dangerous at set pieces.
Chippa struggled to creates chances, leaving spaces open for Black Aces to exploit. Dennis Masina failed to beat Goldman on the 80 minute mark, which was followed by another brilliant save from the keeper when Sibisi tested him from close range.
The match ended 0-0, handing Black Aces a spot in the PSL next season and ending Chippa United’s hopes to stay another season in the top-flight of South African football.