Victorious Chiefs close gap as Sundowns slump

Leaders Mamelodi Sundowns lost at home, Kaizer Chiefs won away and Orlando Pirates were held by 10 men on Wednesday in a drama-filled final round of Premiership action this year.

Tangeni Shipahu atoned for a terrible early miss by scoring in the final minute to give AmaZulu a 3-2 triumph over Sundowns, who had fought back to equalise after falling two goals behind within 16 minutes of the kick-off.

Zimbabwean Knowledge Musona increased his league goal tally to nine, 12 games into the season, by scoring after 54 seconds and 54 minutes as Chiefs cruised to a 2-0 win over struggling Mpumalanga Black Aces in Witbank.

Pirates slipped one place to third behind Sundowns and Chiefs after only managing a 0-0 draw with visiting Platinum Stars, who had Lebo Ramolesa red-carded during the second half in Soweto.

Sundowns have 27 points, Chiefs 23, Pirates 22, Ajax Cape Town 21 and Bloemfontein Celtic 20 ahead of a festive break, with the 30-round schedule resuming early January.

Caught napping
And with the first 2011 fixtures including Chiefs against Sundowns at the 90 000-seat FNB Stadium on the edge of Soweto, the gap at the top could be cut to a single point.

Lehlohonolo Majoro followed up a weekend brace for AmaZulu by scoring twice against Sundowns in Pretoria, and the five-time champions did not threaten to reduce the arrears until a looping Surprise Moriri header went over the bar.

Spanish coach Antonio Lopez made three half-time changes and two substitutes, South Africa World Cup striker Katlego Mphela and Zimbabwe Lionel Mutizwa, scored to bring the teams level 13 minutes from full-time.

But a slow Sundowns defence was caught napping again when Shipahu burst clear and his lob went into the net off a hand of goalkeeper Wayne Sandilands to stun home supporters at the Lucas Moripe Stadium.

Musona opened the scoring with a bicycle kick off a cross and mesmerised Aces with his dribbling before firing a close-range shot across Ugandan goalkeeper Denis Onyango into the far corner for the second goal.

Another Zimbabwean on target was Khama Billiat for Ajax in a 1-1 draw at Golden Arrows.

SuperSport United, seeking a record fourth consecutive title, lost 2-1 at Santos and are much nearer the bottom of the table than the top with a meagre 13 points from 12 matches.—AFP

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