Nedbank Cup: Pretoria Callies 0-1 Chippa United - Victorious Chilli Boys await Mamelodi Sundowns or TTM

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Joshua Sauls of Pretoria Callies challenged by Sandile Mthethwa of Chippa United, April 2021
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Orlando Pirates defender Mthethwa was the hero for the Eastern Cape side as they made history in Pretoria

Chippa United secured their place in the 2021 Nedbank Cup final after claiming a 1-0 win over Pretoria Callies in their semi-final on Saturday afternoon.

The only goal of the match was netted by Orlando Pirates loanee Sandile Mthethwa just after the hour mark in an encounter that was played at Lucas Moripe Stadium. 

The Romans were the only National First Division (NFD) club remaining in this season's tournament and they were hoping to reach the final for the first time. 

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Coach Joel Masutha named former Kaizer Chiefs winger William Twala in the starting line-up, while Thabiso Nkoana, who won the 2012 Nedbank Cup with SuperSport United, also started for the Romans.

On the other hand, the Chilli Boys were the favourites to advance to the final and they had already eliminated two NFD clubs, Free State Stars and Richards Bay from this year's competition.

Masutha's counterpart, Siyabulela Gwambi named a strong starting line-up with experienced players such as Thamsanqa Sangweni, Frederic Nsabiyumva and Nyiko Mobbie starting. 

The Chilli Boys controlled the match from the first whistle and Thabiso Lebitso was causing havoc for the Romans' defence with his sharp movement, but he was wasteful in front of goal.

Augustine Chidi Kwem played a through pass for Lebitso, who hesitated with only Callies goalkeeper Itumeleng Lesu to beat, then the hosts' defence recovered and closed him down.

Lebitso was then afforded time and space on the edge of the Callies box and this time he unleashed a shot that flew over the crossbar without troubling Lesu.

The Romans then had two good chances through Twala, who miscued his shot high and wide, before forcing Chippa keeper Ismail Watenga into a magnificent diving save a few minutes later.

Watanga then pulled off a fantastic save to deny Nkoana at the near-post and the score was 0-0 at the interval.

The Romans should have broken the deadlock immediately after the restart when Nkoana rounded Watenga, but he delayed and he fired the ball straight into the Chippa keeper's hands. 

The hosts were left to rue that missed chance as Chippa took the lead in the 63rd minute after a defensive error by the Callies defence and Mthethwa pounced and scored to hand the Chilli Boys a 1-0 lead. 

Pogiso Mahlangu, Malwande Natemba and Njabulo Buthelezi were then introduced by Callies head coach Joel Masutha as the hosts looked to level matters.

However, the visitors defended very well in the closing proceedings and ultimately, the game ended in a 1-0 win in favour of Chippa. 

As a result, Chippa progressed to the Nedbank Cup final for the first time and they are awaiting the winner between Mamelodi Sundowns and Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila with the two teams set to meet on April 18.

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