Abel Mabaso goal sinks Kaizer Chiefs as Chippa United move into second
An early strike from Abel Mabaso sealed a 1-0 victory for Chippa United over Kaizer Chiefs as the latter's Absa Premiership season lurched from bad to worse.
The victory for Chippa at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth was a deserved success and moves them into second place in the league, level with leaders Mamelodi Sundowns, though they have played three games more.
Chiefs are down in seventh, only three points behind Sundowns, but also having played three extra matches and, in truth, they appear well off the pace.
Chippa took the lead with some excellent play by winger Mark Mayambela, who teased Chiefs left-back Philani Zulu, before racing to the byline and firing a powerful cross in for Mabaso to side-foot home.
It might have been 2-0 when Moeketsi Sekola glanced a header goalwards, but Chiefs keeper Itumeleng Khune produced an excellent one-handed save to thwart the attacker.
Chiefs offered little going forward, with their best effort of the first half created by Pule Ekstein, who beat his defender, but then took too long to get his shot away and as the angle narrowed, he struck his effort against the base of the post.
Mayambela thumped a free-kick just over the bar, while Chiefs defender Sibusiso Hadebe was forced to clear the ball off the line.
Defending league champions Bidvest Wits remain rooted to the foot of the table after a disappointing 0-0 draw with fellow strugglers Ajax Cape Town in a game played in torrential rain in Johannesburg.
The weather left parts of the field under water at times, but Wits had more than enough chances to seal all three points, with Egyptian striker Amr Gamal missing the best of them as he fired wide from close range.
Ajax will consider it a good away point, with their best chance a Mario Booysen header from a free-kick that was straight at Wits keeper Darren Keet.
Platinum Stars claimed a vital away win as they defeated Polokwane City 1-0 thanks to a goal early in the second half from Bongi Ntuli.
The victory is just a second of the season for Stars, and just a third away league victory in 2017.
It is also a third clean sheet in four league games for Stars, suggesting they are no longer the soft touch they were at the start of the campaign.
The fixture between AmaZulu and Bloemfontein Celtic at the King Zwelithini Stadium in Durban was abandoned on 25 minutes after torrential rain made the pitch unplayable.
There was no score in the game and the match will be replayed at a later date.
In the early kick-off, Free State Stars grabbed a precious 2-1 home win over Lamontvillle Golden Arrows, who would have gone top of the table with a victory.
After a goalless opening half in which both sides spurned clear chances, Goodman Dlamini toe-poked Stars in front from Mohammed Anas' cross.
Shortly afterwards Sinethemba Jantjie doubled the advantage with a superb free-kick and the home side looked to be cruising.
However, three minutes later the visitors found a way back into the game as Siphelele Magubane netted after being teed-up by Zolani Nkombela.