Chippa United completed an astonishing season when they beat Sivutsa Stars 1-0 in the final of the Vodacom League National Play-Offs at the Philippi Stadium in Cape Town on Sunday (12 June 2011).
Substitute Robin Rhode’s 69th minute strike ensured Chippa would finish the season as Western Province Vodacom League champions, Vodacom League National Coastal Stream champions and Vodacom League National champions for 2011, representing a truly extraordinary rise to fame for a team that only came into existence in early 2010.
Going into the final, both Chippa and Sivutsa had already clinched automatic promotion to the National First Division by virtue of having won their respective Coastal and Inland Streams in the Vodacom League National Play-Offs that took place over the course of the week at the University of the Western Cape and Philippi Stadiums on the Cape Flats.
As expected, the match was a tense, closely contested encounter played before a capacity crowd, bedecked in bright red Vodacom T-shirts bathing in glorious sunshine. Neither team was able to make a breakthrough in the first half, with Sivutsa making most of the running and looking the more threatening. However, it was a different story after the break, as Chippa, playing on their home ground, came out with more purpose and began to wrest the initiative from their Mpumalanga opponents, and when super sub, Rhode took advantage of a moment of hesitance in the Sivutsa defence to slip through a gap and beat the goalkeeper, it capped a superb week for the Nyanga-based club and their thousands of delirious fans.
“Congratulations to Chippa United on their magnificent achievement. We have witnessed a fabulous week of football that has culminated in this exciting final and we wish both Chippa and Sivutsa the best of luck in their journey to the National First Division. It has also been most encouraging to see the fantastic turnout of support from the people of Cape Town. Vodacom salutes you,” said Enzo Scarcell, Managing Executive: marketing at Vodacom.
Steve Pila, SAFA’s Director of Competitions, added, “The football has been played in the best sporting spirit and it is most encouraging to see the ever-improving standard of technical ability and overall competence of the Vodacom League, which augers well for the future health of South African football and we appreciate the involvement of Vodacom in making it possible.”
A Number of awards were issued at the concluding ceremony.
- Referee of the Tournament: Robert Sithole
- Goalkeeper of the Tournament: Vusumuzi Magagula (Sivutsa)
- Top Goal scorer: Diego Brown (Chippa Utd)
- Coach of the Tournament: Michael Lukhubeni (Chippa Utd)
- Player of the Tournament: Andile Mbeyane (Chippa Utd)