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Kaizer Chiefs clinch title after eight-year wait

15 May 2013 20:47:11

Kaizer Chiefs won the South African Premiership for the first time in eight seasons Wednesday despite being held 1-1 at home by SuperSport United.

Lehlohonolo Majoro put Chiefs ahead four minutes into the second half in northern city Polokwane and Sibusiso Zuma equalised two minutes from time.

Chiefs went into the penultimate-round fixture at Peter Mokaba Stadium needing one point to clinch the championship having led since the start of the season.

And they survived three anxious minutes of stoppage time to get it, and take an unassailable four-point advantage over second-place Platinum Stars.

Outgoing champions Orlando Pirates came from behind to hammer bottom club Black Leopards 4-1 in Soweto with Ndumiso Mabena bagging a brace.

The result at Orlando Stadium left Leopards in dire straits -- needing a win at mid-table Free State Stars Saturday to have any hope of avoiding relegation.

But the night belonged to Chiefs, watched from the stand by suspended English coach Stuart Baxter, with assistant Doctor Khumalo on the touchline.

"Thank you to our supporters, who stood by us through thick and thin. They played a huge role in our success," said former South Africa midfield star Khumalo.

"Majoro did not make a big impact during the first half and we told him at half-time he had another 15 minutes to prove himself.

"Lehlohonolo scored a great goal and we looked the more likely side to score again before Zuma hit a superb equaliser.

"After that it was all about concentration as we came under pressure with United awarded a corner and a throw-in from a dangerous position."

SuperSport coach Gavin Hunt had a different take on the Majoro strike, showing visible anger as he labelled it a "mickey mouse" goal

"It was unbelievable that we conceded a goal like that in top-flight football. Schoolboys would have been embarrassed to let it in.

"Well done to Chiefs -- they have been the best team in the league and deserve the title. They keep the ball better than any other South African side."

While goalkeeper Ronwen Williams and centre-back Edwin Gyimah should have cut off the long, deep cross, Majoro displayed coolness and skill to score.

Zuma, 38, called on all his experience to equalise, swivelling inside the box to fire a low shot past Chiefs captain Itumeleng Khune.

SuperSport finished stronger and threatened to become party-poopers, but a poorly-taken corner and a weak throw-in let them down.

Mabena (two), Tlou Segolela and Oupa Manyisa scored for Pirates before a small crowd after Raymond Ramagalela gave Leopards an early lead.


AFP

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