8 : 7
0 : 2
0 : 1
1 : 0
2 : 1
5 : 6
Resurgent Chiefs do rivals Pirates huge favour
Kaizer Chiefs did arch rivals Orlando Pirates a massive favour Wednesday by overcoming Mamelodi Sundowns 2-0 in the South African Premiership. Defeat for second-placed Sundowns left defending champions Pirates three points clear at the top of the table with just two rounds to go in the race for a $1.3 million first prize.
A win at 2010 World Cup final venue Soccer City would have taken Sundowns back to the top on goal difference, but they were undone by second-half goals from striker Sthembiso Ngcobo and midfielder Siphiwe Tshabalala. Victory was especially sweet for Chiefs as it ended a run of four consecutive defeats in all competitions, a record losing sequence for a club formed 42 years ago.
Sundowns seem to be in regression as the title race nears the end as this was the third set back in four outings after looking likely champions under coach and former Dutch star Johan Neeskens for much of the second half of the season. Pirates remaining fixtures are at home to Bloemfontein Celtic and away to Golden Arrows and two wins under Peru-born stand-in coach Augusto Palacios will clinch a fourth Premiership title. Moroka Swallows can go second on Friday, two points behind the Buccaneers, if they win away to relegation-threatened Black Leopards, who played an Orange CAF Confederation Cup second round tie in Nigeria last weekend.
Ngcobo, making a rare start, fired Chiefs ahead on 58 minutes with a close range shot after goalkeeper Wayne Sandilands raced out of his penalty area, but failed to cut off a Tshabalala through ball. Sandilands atoned with several fine saves before the killer second goal three minutes from time when Tshabalala burst into the box and fired the ball into the net off the far post.
Free State joined SuperSport United in third place on 48 points -- four adrift of Pirates -- with a 1-0 victory at strugglers Santos in Cape Town through an early goal from Togolese striker Dove Wome. Bloemfontein Celtic and Platinum Stars scored four goals each in home victories against Ajax Cape Town and bottom-of-the-table Jomo Cosmos respectively while Bidvest Wits snatched a 1-1 draw at Arrows. Cosmos appear doomed to automatic relegation with just 16 points while Santos (23) and Leopards (24) are fighting to avoid finishing second last and going into the play-offs with three first division sides for a single Premiership place.
HOSTS COUNTRIES OF NEXT CAF COMPETITIONSOrange CAN 2012
REGULATIONS / PUBLICATIONSCAF Statutes