Mbesuma Steers Highlands Out Of The Relegation Zone
Absa Premiership Report: Highlands Park v Chippa United 12 May 2017
Result: Highlands Park 1-0 Chippa United
Date: 12 May 2017
Venue: Makhulong Stadium
Highlands Park moved off the foot of the Absa Premiership table, after Collins Mbesuma's second-half penalty secured a 1-0 win over Chippa United.
It was the home side who got off to the better start with Peter Shalulile and Brandon Theron causing problems down the flanks.
Chippa were quite content to sit back and soak up the pressure with the hope of catching Highlands on the counter.
That's exactly what happened when Lerato Manzini had a good chance to put Chippa ahead after 19 minute following a swift counter, but he volleyed wide of the upright from close range.
Highlands continued to dominate and they should have gone ahead midway through the first half but Mbesuma somehow headed wide from six-yards out.
Marlon Heugh then came to Highlands' rescue just before the break as he produced a superb save to keep out Andile Mbenyane's long range effort.
After a quiet start to the second stanza, the home side opted for a change after 54 minutes as Seun Ledwaba replaced veteran midfielder Surprise Moriri.
The substitution paid off for the home side when Ledwaba won a penalty after being brought down by Justice Chabalala in the 63rd minute. Mbesuma stepped up and blasted home the spot-kick, 1-0.
With Chippa chasing the game, former Kaizer Chiefs forward David Zulu replaced Phetolo Sekome in the 75th minute.
The Chilli Boys piled on the pressure in the closing stages of the second half, while Highlands sat deep in their own half.
However, the Lions of the North managed to hold out till the final whistle to claim victory, which sees them move up to 14th, while Chippa drop to 15th spot.
Here's how they lined up:
Highlands: 1. Heugh, 14. Mvala, 33. Sibande, 45. Oluwafemi, 19. Nlapho, 2. Theron, 22. Ngalo, 8. Moriri (Ledwaba 54'), 12. Thabotha, 38. Shalulile, 9. Mbesuma.
Chippa: 1. Akpeyi, 7. Mako, 24. Thopola, 13. Chabalala, 17. Mvelase, 5. Wambi, 15, Zuke, 12. Sekome (Zulu 75'), 10. Mbenyane (C), 38. Mncube, 19. R. Manzini.