South Africa: SuperSport United win third straight title
SuperSport United have claimed their third straight South African Premiership title in the least spectacular fashion after they were defeated 2-1 at home by Bidvest Wits University on Matchday 29. However their four point lead over Mamelodi Sundowns was preserved after their nearest challengers also suffered defeat at the hands of bottom club Jomo Cosmos from Johannesburg by two goals to nil. With only one match left to play in the championship there is no way that the Sundowns can claim the title so SuperSport will have been popping open the champagne bottles despite losing to the third bottom club in the league.
Bidvest Wits went into the game as expected whipping boys but shocked the home crowd on 27 minutes when Mark Haskins gave the visitors a shock lead. Having picked the ball up in midfield Haskins let fly from distance and this certainly gave the away side confidence. However Brian Umony equalised just six minutes later after he headed home a cross from the left-hand side and at the break the score was tied with the crowd expecting a second half onslught after United had dominated most of the possession in the first half. But Wits had other ideas and were to settle the fate of the match midway through the second half. On 68 minutes Calvin Kadi was able to tap in a cross from a couple of yards out and had stolen another goal for Wits against the run of play. Despite SuperSport piling on the pressure for the rest of the game a second equalizer never came and it was the Students who celebrated a 2-1 win to move them up to 12th in the table.
Therefore the opportunity was there for Mamelodi Sundowns to capitalize on their rivals’ mistakes but they suffered an early setback of their own away at bottom team Cosmos. Paballo Mngomezulu opened the scoring after just five minutes for the relegation threatened home side. With just one minute of normal time to go in the second half Siza Dlamini tucked away a penalty kick to give the Cosmos the three points which not only slightly revived their chances of avoiding the automatic drop (one team can also go down via a play-off route) but also denied the Sundowns their title dream.
In other South Africa games Kaizer Chiefs won 2-0 at home to Mpumalanga Black Aces to confirm third place in the table with the losing team second bottom in the table and looking over their shoulder as they hope to avoid automatic relegation. Santos FC Cape Town lost at home to AmaZulu Durban by a solitary goal which means that Orlando Pirates, who are one point behind Santos in fifth, still have a chance of overtaking them in the table.