The Chippa United road trip takes The Chilli Boys to the defending champions this afternoon, when they clash against Mamelodi Sundowns in a league game.
Due to pandemic-related fixture changes, the men from Port Elizabeth are playing a series of successive away games at least until the end of January.
Their travels have taken them on a zig-zag tour across Limpopo, Gauteng, KZN and Mpumalanga provinces all in the month of January. Their last game proved fruitful, as they beat Black Leopards 3-0. But even with a schedule of almost ten successive away games, some records are still stubborn:
2019 – Chippa have not won successive away games in the league since December 2019.
Their record against Sundowns does not make for good reading, either. Since coming into the top-flight in 2012, only four Chippa players have scored in a league match against Sundowns – Welcome Qalanto, Thamsanqa Sangweni, Mark Mayambela and Rhulani Manzini (2).
Last season, the only goal Chippa managed in 180 league minutes was an own goal.
0 – Chippa have not won a league game against Sundowns since they were promoted in 2012, drawing six and losing eight of the 14 matches between the sides.
It is the longest that any PSL team has played Sundowns without managing to beat them at least once. They have beaten Sundowns in Cup competitions though.
Be that as it may, Chippa’s latest win over Leopards could be a better yardstick by which to measure them by. It was only the second time in the last three seasons that Chipa won a league game by a 3+ goal margin. They also beat Maritzburg 3-1 earlier this season, meaning that they have scored 3+ goals in two matches in the same season for the first time since 2017/18 – a hint of improved sharpness in front of goals. The Leopards victory was also significant for this stat:
1 – This was the first time in their history that Chippa led a league match by a 2+ margin at half-time away from home.
Perhaps, there could be a different outcome today.
Sundowns away is one of the toughest fixtures on the calendar for any team. For the men from the Eastern Cape, it has been a bit of a nightmare on many fronts.
6 – Chippa have failed to score in six of the seven matches played away to Sundowns, the highest number of times they have failed to score away at any PSL opponent.
Now that Sundowns have added Rushine de Reuck to their ranks, the task could be even made harder, should he play a part this weekend. The champions are still unbeaten this season, and Chippa will have to do something that no other side has done so far this term:
14 – Sundowns are unbeaten in the opening 14 games of a league season for only the third time in their PSL history, one shy of their record (15 unbeaten in 1999/00 and 2018/19).
Another record awaits them today.
Baroka v Cape Town City
3 – Cape Town City have won more away games already this season (3), than they managed throughout all of last season (2).
By Opta Jabu