Mamelodi Sundowns were crowned the Absa Premiership League champion yesterday , winning the PSL title for the third time in a row.
Downs were crowned champions after beating Black Leopards 3-0 at Dobsonville Stadium on Saturday. Brazilians coach Pitso Mosimane and his boys toppled Chiefs from the summit. Amakhosi had been on top of the table since the second game of the season.
Chiefs drew 1-all with Baroka at Bidvest Stadium while Sundowns prevailed through Lebohang Maboe’s hat-trick. The triumph meant the Tshwane giants have achieved the ” La Decima” – the 10th league title.
Amakhosi’s failure to clinch the title title is expected to pile pressure on coach Ernst Middendorp. Chiefs have been linked to Gavin Hunt and now it looks likely that they’ll go for the Bidvest Wits mentor.
While Chiefs retained the same XI that beat nine-man Chippa United on Wednesday, Baroka reinstated Elvis Chipezeze in goal, with Ayanda Dlamini, who conceded four goals in their 4-1 defeat to SuperSport United midweek, dropping to bench.
As there was undoubtedly a lot at stake for both sides, pressure was written in the faces of both Chiefs and Baroka mentors in Middendorp and Dylan Kerr respectively.
Middendorp, clad in a formal white folded shirt, was hardly in his seat. The German coach cut a stressed figure in the dugout. Kerr, on the other hand, had his butt in the sit for the better part of the proceedings.
Chiefs took the game to Bakgaga and Reeve Frosler was the talisman, making dashing moves to give Amakhosi the upperhand. The dominance by the Soweto outfit paid off in the 39th thanks to Khama Billiat’s cool finish after a brilliant chest flick by Samir Nurkovic.
In a synchronised match, Sundowns broke the deadlock via Maboe in the first period’s stoppage time, having missed a penalty midway through the stanza. Maboe completed his brace seven minutes before the hour- mark.
Downs’ Ricardo Nascimento saw his spot kick saved by Leopard’s goalkeeper King Ndlovu as Sundowns dominated from the first until the final whistle.
Having been struggling this season, the Brazilians’ skipper Hlompho Kekana was in his element yesterday, dictating terms in the middle of the park.
Back to Chiefs’ game, Baroka drew level just a minute before the hour-mark. Bakgaga netted through Manuel Kambala, who nodded home from a Gerald Phiri’s free-kick.
In the relegation battle Polokwane City suffered the misfortune having to campaign in the first division next season while Leopards finished 15th to secure the playoffs spot. Rise and Shine lost 2-1 to Bidvest Wits. In the round robin playoffs, Lidoda Duvha will face Ajax Cape Town and Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila.