Chippa United earn valuable point at Wits
Rulani Mokwena started his reign as Chippa United coach by earning a valuable away point as his visiting team held Bidvest Wits to a goalless draw at Bidvest Stadium on Saturday.
Mokwena surfaced at the Port Elizabeth-based club after he was appointed midweek to become the fourth mentor to coach Chippa this season.
He stepped into the seat vacated by Zimbabwean coach Norman Mapeza, who resigned on Monday.
Having had only a couple of training sessions with the team before their trip to Johannesburg after his appointment on Wednesday, Mokwena would be a happy man as his bid to steer Chippa away from the relegation zone started with a point away from home.
With AmaZulu stunning leaders Kaizer Chiefs at FNB Stadium and Baroka FC having dispatched Black Leopards in the Limpopo derby, the point moves Chippa three points away from danger while the share of the spoils further dented Wits fading chances of winning the premiership title.
The draw leaves Wits a whopping 13 points behind Chiefs and although they have two matches in hand, they will look back at their inconsistency and poor home form as key factor that caused them a chance for a second league title in their history.
The first half was drab affair with both sides failing to create any clear cut opportunities barring the two tame efforts from Ruzaigh Gamaldien that he directed straight at Brandon Petersen in the Wits goal.
Wits were so poor in the first half they failed to have a single shot at goal. They would look back to their horrendous form at their Bidvest Stadium as a key factor that effectively scuppered their title chances.
Wits coach Gavin Hunt rang the changes in the second half as his team started to show some urgency going forward and created a few chances but they cold not beat Veli Mothwa in the Chippa goal.
Wits remain in sixth place on the standings on 35 points from 20 matches while Chippa also retained their 11th spot with 26 points from 24 matches.