AmaZulu book historic CAF Spot
Manyama hat-trick gives Chiefs Top8 hope
AmaZulu secured a historic CAF Champions League spot next season after their 1-0 victory over Swallows at Kings Park Stadium last night.
With one match remaining before the end of the season on Saturday, the victory yesterday ensured that Usuthu would finish second even if they lose their last game against Maritzburg United away on Saturday.
They finished ahead of Orlando Pirates, who dislodged Golden Arrows from third place after a hard-fought 2-1 victory at Baroka.
Arrows, meanwhile, slipped to fourth after allowing Kaizer Chiefs to twice come from behind and beat them 3-2 at FNB Stadium. Lebogang Manyama was the hero for Amakhosi with a hat-trick, ensuring Chiefs won their first DStv Premiership match since April 25.
Pirates now lead Arrows by three points heading into their final match against Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila (TTM) at Orlando Stadium on Saturday, and a draw will be enough for the Buccaneers to qualify for the Confederation Cup next season.
For Arrows to finish third, they will need to beat Stellenbosch in their final match at Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium and hope Pirates lose to TTM.
Manyama's hat-trick at FNB, coming days after Gavin Hunt was sacked, handed Chiefs a big lifeline in their bid to finish in the top half of the table.
They moved to ninth after the victory, three points behind eighth-placed TS Galaxy, who they meet in their final match. A win for Chiefs would result in them replacing Owen da Gama's side in the top eight.
Pirates had to come from a goal down to win 2-1, with strikes from Gabadinho Mhango and Terrence Dzvukamanja giving them all three points and easing the pressure on beleaguered coach Josef Zinnbauer.
Securing Champions League football is a good achievement for AmaZulu, after their impressive season under coach Benni McCarthy.
A second half penalty from Tapelo Nyongo was enough to seal the victory and hand Swallows their second defeat this season.
Elsewhere, a Bradley Grobler brace sank Maritzburg United 2-0 at Lucas Moripe Stadium, leaving Ernst Middendorp's side needing a point in their final match to confirm safety.
Results: CT City 3, Leopards 1; TTM 0, Chippa 0; Bloem Celtic 0, Sundowns 2; SuperSport 2, Maritzburg 0; Baroka 1, Pirates 2; Stellenbosch 0, TS Galaxy 0; AmaZulu 1, Swallows 0; Chiefs 3, Arrows 2.
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