Chippa targets Africa next

HOUNDED: Santos's Tawonga Chimodzi attempts to get away from Chippa United's Mfundo Shumana during their match at Philippi Stadium in Cape Town on Saturday. Photo: Shaun Roy/Gallo Images
HOUNDED: Santos's Tawonga Chimodzi attempts to get away from Chippa United's Mfundo Shumana during their match at Philippi Stadium in Cape Town on Saturday. Photo: Shaun Roy/Gallo Images

CHIPPA United owner Chippa Mpengesi is already looking forward to his next challenge: seeing his team taking on Africa's best.

The Cape side won promotion to the SA Premiership on Saturday afternoon by beating Santos 4-3 at the Philippi stadium.

It was a sensational achievement for a team that was formed less than three seasons back and was competing in the Vodacom Second Division in the 2010-2011 season.

Mpengesi has made good on his promise of securing top-flight football for a black township-based side in Cape Town for the first time. Based in the heart of the Cape Flats, the team receives phenomenal support from the local community.

Now that the objective is achieved, he does not plan to sit back and rest on his laurels - Mpengesi wants to continue to use his side as an example of how those battling the odds can rise up out of obscurity, not only like his team, but himself.

"Two seasons and we are already in the PSL," Mpengesi said. "This is just the beginning of what is about to happen. The old mentality of thinking you have to be spending five years before you can compete in the higher football fraternity is gone - things are new now.

"We are a new South Africa, those olden days of football are gone. The players are happy, I was looking after them, having the unity, having a good coaching staff. We want to see how we can chase the Premiership title, our goal is to go to Africa.

"I promised the players good financial bonuses. The majority of the players are from the shacks, like I am. Now we are in the promised land," said Mpengesi.

On the flip side, Santos now find themselves facing life in the National First Division next season.

"It's very emotional and very sad," said striker Eleazar Rodgers. "I think we conceded too many goals on the day, but we can't point fingers at one another, we have to accept it. It's very tough to accept, but as I said before, things happen for a reason and it wasn't to be for us this season. But life goes on."

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