BY SPORTS REPORTER
ZIMBABWE international Khama Billiat scored in his second successive game, but his efforts were in vain as Kaizer Chiefs’ South African Premiership title hopes went up in smoke yesterday after being held to a 1-1 draw by Baroka at the Bidvest Stadium.
The result handed the championship glory to Mamelodi Sundowns, who cruised to a 3-0 win over Black Leopards in their final match of the season.
The Amakhosi, who fielded Warriors stars Billiat and Willard Katsande in their starting line-up, needed only to match Sundowns’ result against Black Leopards to finally end their five-year title drought.
However, they were unable to push on and secure the three points after Billiat had put them in the driving seat with a cool left-footed finish from inside the box in the 39th minute.
Instead they allowed Baroka, who featured Warriors goalkeeper Elvis Chipezeze in goal, back into the game as Manual Kambala’s 59th-minute equaliser earned the Limpopo side third-last place and survival from the playoffs‚ and broke Chiefs supporters’ hearts.
The result meant Sundowns snatched the trophy from the grips of Kaizer Chiefs, who, at one stage in the season, were 13 points ahead and looked like they were cruising towards their first title in five years.
Lebohang Maboe scored a brilliant hat-trick as Mamelodi Sundowns beat Black Leopards 3-0 to secure the Premiership title.
Despite missing an early penalty in the game, Sundowns proved why they are the most successful club in the country by playing Lidoda Dhuva into the ground.
Pitso Mosimane’s Sundowns finished the season on 59 points, two points ahead of Kaizer Chiefs, who will be going back to Naturena and wondering just what happened, and how they managed to lose grip on a trophy that was virtually theirs before the lockdown began.
Orlando Pirates finished third after a 1-0 win over Ovidy Karuru’s Stellenbosch, while Bidvest Wits finished fourth after a 3-1 win over relegated Polokwane City.
Kaitano Tembo’s SuperSport United side lost 1-0 to Cape Town City to finish the campaign in fifth place and miss the ticket to play in the next edition of the Caf Confederation Cup.
South African Absa Premiership results at a glance:
Bidvest Wits 3-1 Polokwane City, Bloemfontein Celtic 3-1 Maritzburg United, Chippa United 1-0 Golden Arrows, Baroka FC 1-1 Kaizer Chiefs, Mamelodi Sundowns 3-0 Black Leopards, Orlando Pirates 1-0 Stellenbosch, Cape Town City FC 1-0 SuperSport United, AmaZulu FC 1-1 Highlands Park.