Royal AM have registered their first-ever DStv Premiership win, defeating Chippa United 1-0 at the Chatsworth Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
A penalty from Victor Letsoalo early in the second half saw Thwihli Thwahla claim their first three-pointer of the 2021-22 season and move from last place to 12th on the log, while the Chilli Boys suffered their first loss of the campaign under Gavin Hunt and remain in eighth – missing out on a chance to go top of the table.
Royal were the pre-eminent force in the opening stages, with the elusive movement of Ndumiso Mabena creating a chance on three minutes which forced a good save from Chippa goalkeeper Ismail Watenga.
The Ugandan shot-stopper was certainly the busier of the two keepers through the first half, making further fine saves to deny a curling effort from Tebogo Potsane and Mabena again, this time in a one-on-one situation, on 29 minutes.
The Royal attacker and captain Mabena sadly had his afternoon cut short by injury a short while later, necessitating the introduction of Levy Mashiane off the bench.
Chippa ended the first half strongly, with Bienvenu Eva Nga and Mokhele Maloisane coming into the game, though the interval saw the teams locked at 0-0.
Royal got back into their attacking groove at the start of the second stanza and their pressure soon paid dividends, as they earned a debatable penalty – Victor Letsoalo scored from the spot on 51 minutes to put Thwihli Thwahla ahead.
The Chilli Boys responded with a triple change just before the hour mark, as Phakamani Mahlambi, Peter Maloisane and Athini Jodwana were introduced off the bench.
Yet it was Royal who had the next big chance, with Zukile Mkhize shooting just wide of the mark on 60 minutes.
Chippa gradually began to build some pressure and on 70 minutes, they finally had their first shot on target in the match, with Mahlambi cutting inside from the left and shooting low towards the near post, but goalkeeper Hugo Nyame made a comfortable save.
Nyame was in action again on 76 minutes, diving to his left to palm away a shot direct from a free-kick by Mogakolodi Ngele which looked destined for the back of the net.
That proved to be the last major incident in either penalty area for the remainder of the game, with the hosts able to see out the time and secure victory. The teams will be back in DStv Premiership action next Saturday, 18 September, with Chippa hosting Orlando Pirates and Royal visiting Kaizer Chiefs.
Royal AM (0) 1 (Letsoalo 51’ pen)
Chippa United 0
Royal: Nyame, Lingwati, Rikhotso, Manganyi, Mkhize, Mahlasela (Masuku 85’), Mashikinya (Mdluli 78’), Monamodi, Mabena (Mashiane 36’), Potsane (Phalane 78’), Letsoalo
Chippa: Watenga, Mdunyelwa, Zulu, Pietersen, Hanamub, Lebitso (Matrose 86’), Mdlinzo (Mahlambi 58’), Seabi, M. Maloisane (P. Maloisane 57’), Ngele, Eva Nga (Jodwana 58’)
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