Chiefs and Sundowns collect crucial points

KAIZER Chiefs overcame another testing hurdle in the closing straight of the championship chase to beat Polokwane City 2-0 last night and keep in touch with leaders Mamelodi Sundowns.

KAIZER Chiefs overcame another testing hurdle in the closing straight of the championship chase to beat Polokwane City 2-0 last night and keep in touch with leaders Mamelodi Sundowns.

The victory at a wet and slippery Peter Mokaba Stadium moved Chiefs to 55 points in the Premier Soccer League standings, three behind Sundowns, who have played one game more.

The Brazilians remain at the summit, thanks to a slender but crucial 1-0 win over Mpumalanga Black Aces in another Absa Premiership match last night.

George Lebese opened the scoring after just 10 minutes in the perfect tonic for Amakhosi after two losses in their previous league games and George Maluleka added the second 15 minutes from time.

A slip by Vusi Mthimkhulu seven minutes later allowed Bernard Parker a free run at goal, but a tight angle saw him squander the chance.

Nkhatha had a one-on-one situation with goalkeeper Modiri Marumo in the 34th minute, but was halted by a strong challenge from Tlou Molekwane and went off injured. He was replaced by Katlego Mphela.

Parker missed with a curling shot on the stroke of half time after Mphela fluffed the initial opportunity.

Maluleka hit the upright straight after half time, but finally found the net with a shot from outside the area in the 73rd minute.

But Polokwane City also had some opportunities and could have caught Chiefs cold on the half-hour mark when a long ball from the goalkeeper was flicked on for Thabo Rakhale, but his attempted chip over the head of Itumeleng Khune went agonisingly wide.

lMazola Molefe reports from Loftus Versfeld that it was not pretty, with a lot of sloppy and late tackles as well as missed chances, but it really did not matter much as Sundowns again got a crucial win at Aces.

What will satisfy coach Pitso Mosimane is that his side stretched their unbeaten run in the Premiership to eight matches and only three matches remain.

Mosimane will be the first to admit that, in their own backyard, the Brazilians should have made the encounter a bit more of a spectacle than it turned out to be. When Elias Pelembe broke the deadlock in the eight minute - scoring his second goal in two matches - it looked like Downs would make it a one-sided affair.

The winger netted soon after teammate and defender Thabo Nthethe had seen his attempt saved by Aces goalkeeper Jackson Mabokgwane. Pelembe managed to out jump the opposition defence and sneak in a header which Mabokgwane could not keep out.

Aces were then dealt a blow in the 14th minute when their keeper was hurt and had to be replaced by Bafana Nhlapho, who was thrown right into the thick of it. He had barely adjusted his gloves when Teko Modise tried his luck from range and his shot went just wide of the goal posts.

 

lMarc Strydom writes from Milpark Stadium that a thrilling finish saw Bidvest Wits beat struggling Moroka Swallows 2-1, preserving the Students' outside chance at the PSL title.

After Wits missed a string of clear chances, substitute Getaneh Kebede put Wits ahead in the 83rd minute. Swallows struck back through Lefa Tsutsulupa in the first minute of added time. But Sibusiso Vilakazi's strike a minute later earned Wits a dramatic victory.

  • Platinum Stars beatAmaZulu 1-0 at Royal Bafokeng Stadium, thanks to a Vuyo Mere penalty.

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