Pirates move up after Downs, SuperSport suffer losses

Orlando Pirates went to the top of the Premiership table on Wednesday despite squandering numerous chances in a 0-0 Soweto derby draw to Moroka Swallows.

While the Buccaneers were collecting one point as the title race heads for a thrilling climax, overnight leaders Mamelodi Sundowns suffered a shock 2-1 home defeat by mid-table Platinum Stars.

SuperSport United, whose hopes of a fourth title in five seasons had dimmed after a goal drought, snatched a late 1-0 victory at relegation-threatened Santos in Cape Town to stay in the hunt.

Title-holders Pirates have 47 points with five rounds left of the richest African national football championship with a $1.3-million first prize followed by Sundowns (46), Swallows (43), SuperSport (42) and Kaizer Chiefs (40).

Chiefs have a game in hand over the other four title contenders, but their hopes suffered a severe blow on Tuesday when losing 1-0 at home to Maritzburg United.

Pirates are hitting form at the right time after being well off the pace for much of the season and did everything but score in a thrilling clash with old rivals Swallows.

Former Blackburn and West Ham striker Benni McCarthy was denied by the crossbar twice from free kicks and Oupa Manyisa once from open play as Swallows’ defence led a charmed life at Dobsonville Stadium.

But the Birds came close to snatching victory with two minutes left when Moeneeb Josephs parried a close-range Joseph Makanya drive into the path of veteran Siyabonga Nomvethe, who fired over from close range.

It was an uncharacteristic miss by Nomvethe, who is the leading Premiership scorer this season with 12 goals and sections of the media have been calling for his recall to a goal-shy national team with 2014 World Cup qualifiers looming.

Sundowns suffered only their third loss in 25 league outings as star-less Platinum continued a revival that coincided with the suspension of coach Owen de Gama for allegedly demanding cash from players for starting places.

Patrick Malokase put Stars ahead at Lucas Moripe Stadium in Atteridgeville, captain Teko Modise levelled for the record five-time champions and Sibusiso Msomi snatched the 57th-minute winner.

Bottom club Jomo Cosmos fell 2-1 at home to poor travellers Bloemfontein Celtic and remain four points behind Santos while Black Leopards boosted their chances of dodging the drop by forcing a 2-2 draw at Free State Stars. — AFP

PW Botha wagged his finger and banned us in 1988 but we stood firm. We built a reputation for fearless journalism, then, and now. Through these last 35 years, the Mail & Guardian has always been on the right side of history.

These days, we are on the trail of the merry band of corporates and politicians robbing South Africa of its own potential.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Advertisting

Western Cape Judge Mushtak Parker faces second misconduct complaint

The Cape Bar Council says his conduct is ‘unbecoming the holding of judicial office’

‘My biggest fear was getting the virus and dying in...

South African Wuhan evacuee speaks about his nine-week ordeal

Border walls don’t stop viruses, but a blanket amnesty might

Why South Africa should consider amnesty for undocumented migrants in the time of the coronavirus outbreak.

Press Releases

The online value of executive education in a Covid-19 world

Executive education courses further develop the skills of leaders in the workplace

Sisa Ntshona urges everyone to stay home, and consider travelling later

Sisa Ntshona has urged everyone to limit their movements in line with government’s request

SAB Zenzele’s special AGM postponed until further notice

An arrangement has been announced for shareholders and retailers to receive a 77.5% cash payout

20th Edition of the National Teaching Awards

Teachers are seldom recognised but they are indispensable to the country's education system

Awards affirm the vital work that teachers do

Government is committed to empowering South Africa’s teachers with skills, knowledge and techniques for a changing world

SAB Zenzele special AGM rescheduled to March 25 2020

New voting arrangements are being made to safeguard the health of shareholders

Dimension Data launches Saturday School in PE

The Gauteng Saturday School has produced a number of success stories