Chippa United claimed a slender 1-0 win over Pretoria Callies in the Nedbank Cup semifinal at the Lucas Moripe Stadium in Atteridgeville on Saturday afternoon.
The victory saw the Chilli Boys advance to the final of the South African FA Cup final, while the Romans were eliminated from the tournament and they will now focus on the GladAfrica Championship.
The Chilli Boys, who will now face either Mamelodi Sundowns or Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila in the final, saw most of the ball in the opening stages and they should have taken an early lead.
Thabiso Lebitso was let down by his poor first touch while in a one-on-one situation with goalkeeper Itumeleng Lesu seven minutes into the game and Callies’ defence recovered to close him down.
The Romans did create a good goalscoring opportunity in the 17th minute after some good work by Thabo Moloi down the left flank.
The former SuperSport United right-back delivered a quality cross for an unmarked Willam Twala, miscued his shot and the Chilli Boys survived a scare.
Twala had another chance to score in the 26th minute and this time he kept his shot on target, but he was brilliantly denied by Chippa keeper Ismail Watenga with a diving save.
The momentum was with the hosts with the half-time break approaching and Thabiso Nkoana forced Watenga into a fine save at the near-post on the stroke of half time.
The Romans continued from where they left off in the first half and they had a golden opportunity to open the scoring through Nkoana three minutes into the game.
The former University of Pretoria centre forward did well to round Watenga, but he delayed and somehow fired the ball straight into the Ugandan keeper’s hands.
However, the Chilli Boys took their chance at the other end in the 63rd minute following a mistake by the Callies’ defence and Sandile Mthethwa scored with a volley to hand Chippa a 1-0 lead.
Callies coach Joel Masutha reacted by making a triple substitution as he introduced Pogiso Mahlangu, Malwande Natemba and Njabulo Buthelezi.
The Romans applied some pressure on the Chilli Boys as they played crosses which were cleared away by the visitors in the closing stages of the encounter.
Ultimately, the match ended in a 1-0 victory in favour of Chippa, who reached the Nedbank Cup final for the first time in the club’s history.
Callies (0) 0
Chippa (0) 1 (Mthethwa 63′)
Callies: Lesu, Moloi, Moeketsi, Menziwa (Mahlangu 68′), Pheko (Buthelezi 69′), Nkoana (Natemba 68′), Twala (Sebone 46′), Sauls (Sitayitayi 88′), Tladi, Marebane, Sithole.
Chippa: Watenga, Nsabiyumva, Mobbie, Mthethwa, Sangweni, Kwem (Damons 66′), Lebitso (Laffor 46′), Phewa (Phewa 83′), Konqobe (Eva Nga 46′), Hanamub, Maloisane (Mokhele 57′).