Kaizer Chiefs won the battle but lost the war as they were dumped out of the CAF Champions League by DR Congo side AS Vita Club on Saturday.
The AmaKhosi won their second leg tie 2-0 but lost the tie 3-2 on aggregate after a mauling in the first game in Kinshasa a week ago.
A goal from Knowledge Musona on nine minutes gave Chiefs fans hope, but when the Zimbabwean international missed a one-on-one chance shortly afterwards you got the sense there would be no fairytale comeback.
They had their chances though, but had to wait until the 9nd minute for their next goal, scored by Morgan Gould.
Musona limped out of the game midway through the first half, a further blow to Chiefs’ chances, after they had already lost young goalkeeper Reyaad Pieterse when he collided with a post while making a save.
The South African side dominated the remainder of the game, in which tempers flared at regular intervals as the Congolese embarked on time-wasting tactics and shameful play-acting.
Chiefs hit the bar in the second half, and might have had a penalty for handball, but luck was not on their side.
Gould’s injury-time second goal added some spice to the closing minutes, but there would be no equalizing third.
Chiefs now drop down to the CAF Confederation Cup where they will enter the fourth round, one before the group stages.