A hat-trick from second half substitute Lerato Manzini saw Chippa United up to seventh on the Absa Premiership table after beating Platinum Stars 4-1 at the Isaac Wolfson Stadium on Wednesday.
Chippa are in seventh place on 37 points from 26 matches while the loss for Platinum Stars leaves them in third place with 44 points and in real danger of dropping out of the top three if Kaizer chiefs win later on Wednesday.
It was the perfect start for Chippa who took the lead six minutes into the game when Andile Mbenyane turned home a pass from Buyani Sali, 1-0.
Despite going behind, Stars began to take a foot-hold in the game and came close to levelling matters in the 21st minute when a long range shot from Robert Ng’ambi sailed inches over the target.
Five minutes later Solomon Mathe met a corner-kick from Tlou Segolela, but his header shaved the wrong side of the Chippa crossbar.
In the 38th minute Stars suffered a bit of a set-back when Segolela left the field injured and was replaced by Kobamelo Kodisang.
The half ended 1-0 in favour of Chippa.
It was a slow start from both sides in the second half, but the home side sprang into life in the 72nd minute when Manzini doubled Chippa’s lead after turning home a pass from Buyani Sali, 2-0.
In the 84th minute Manzini made certain of victory with his second goal of the game, this time latching onto a pass from Mbenyane and making no mistake with just the keeper to beat, 3-0.
Four minutes later Platinum Stars found some consolation with Robert Ng’ambi finding the back of the net to make it 3-1.
The icing on the cake for Chippa was Manzini’s third goal in the dying seconds of the match to confirm an emphatic 4-1.
The win ends a five game winless streak for Chippa while Stars suffered their sixth loss of the season.
Chippa United (1) 4 (Mbeyane 6’, Manzini 72’, 84’ + 90’)
Platinum Stars (0) 1 (Ng’ambi 87’)
Chippa: Akpeyi, Thopola, Okwuosa, Mthiyane, Maponyane, Mlambo, D. Zulu (Macheke 59’), Sali (Zuke 78’), Sangweni, Mbenyane (Mbokoma 90’), Molangoane.
Platinum Stars: Condoul, Nhlapo, Sithole, S. Zulu, Mere, Ng’ambi, Segolela (Kodisang 38’), Nyanda (Mabule 65’), Msomi, Mathe (Gwabeni 78’), Mabena.
Brian Lee – Backpae Media