Pirates win big, Wits remain top

The weekend’s Absa Premiership action saw Bidvest Wits retain their place at the top of the log, though they will feel they missed out on the chance to open up a bigger advantage after being held 1-1 at home by 10-man Mamelodi Sundowns.

The Clever Boys and the Brazilians played out a hard-fought draw in Johannesburg on Saturday evening, with Phakamani Mahlambi’s early strike cancelled out by Gift Motupa, while the dismissal of defender Wayne Arendse in the first half meant the champions played out most of the game with a numerical disadvantage.

The round opened on Friday night with a 1-1 draw between Chippa United and Golden Arrows in Port Elizabeth, and Saturday afternoon’s games saw Kaizer Chiefs held by the same score line away to Polokwane City, at the same time that Cape Town City won a five-goal thriller at home to Maritzburg United. Thamsanqa Mkhize, Gift Links and Riyaad Norodien netted for the Citizens.

> > > HIGHLIGHTS from all the Absa Premier League games . . .

With Wits and Sundowns dropping points, Orlando Pirates took full advantage of the chance to make up ground as they thrashed AmaZulu 4-1 in Soweto (with goals from Kuda Mahachi, Luvoyo Memela, Justin Shonga and Ben Motshwari), while SuperSport United’s winning run was brought to a shuddering halt as they succumbed 2-1 at home to Baroka FC.

Sunday’s two games saw 10-man Black Leopards hold on for a 0-0 draw at home to Highlands Park, while Free State Stars boosted their survival hopes with a thrilling 3-2 away win over derby rivals Bloemfontein Celtic, thanks to a brace from Sinethemba Jantjie.

The Absa Premiership will continue in midweek with Sundowns v Cape Town City, followed by a full set of fixtures spread over the first weekend of March.

ABSA PREMIERSHIP RESULTS 22-24 FEBRUARY

FRIDAY 22 FEBRUARY
Chippa United 1-1 Golden Arrows

SATURDAY 23 FEBRUARY
Polokwane City 1-1 Kaizer Chiefs
Cape Town City 3-2 Maritzburg United
Bidvest Wits 1-1 Mamelodi Sundowns
Orlando Pirates 4-1 AmaZulu
SuperSport United 1-2 Baroka FC

SUNDAY 24 FEBRUARY
Black Leopards 0-0 Highlands Park
Bloemfontein Celtic 2-3 Free State Stars