Thembinkosi Lorch of Orlando Pirates challenged by Tebogo Langerman of Mamelodi Sundowns during the Absa Premiership 2017/18 match between Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates at Loftus Versveld Stadium, Pretoria South Africa on 13 January 2018 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix
Monday Jan 15, 2018. 09:51
Another fascinating weekend of Absa Premiership football has seen the top five teams on the log covered by just five points, while down at the bottom of the log we have a three-way tie for last place.
The round kicked off on Friday with matches in Pietermaritzburg and Cape Town: in the former, Maritzburg United claimed their biggest win of the season by crushing Bloemfontein Celtic 4-0, while Ajax claimed a much-needed win in the latter, coming from a goal down to defeat fellow strugglers Platinum Stars 3-1.
Saturday’s marquee match took place at Loftus Versfeld Stadium and saw Orlando Pirates overpower log leaders Mamelodi Sundowns 3-1 thanks to goals from Ntsikelelo Nyauza, Mpho Makola and Luvoyo Memela.
Cape Town City had the chance to close right up to ‘Downs in their evening match at Goble Park, but a lone goal from Harris Tchilimbou saw Free State Stars defeat the visitors and move into second spot themselves - three adrift of the Tshwane giants, one ahead of Benni McCarthy’s Citizens.
Kaizer Chiefs are fourth (one point further back and level with fifth-placed Pirates) after they come from behind to defeat Polokwane City 2-1 at FNB Stadium, with goals from Ryan Moon and Dumisani Zuma.
Things took shape at the foot of the table on Sunday, with Bidvest Wits (who were held 1-1 in Port Elizabeth by Chippa United) and AmaZulu (who were beaten 2-0 by Baroka FC in Limpopo) joining Platinum Stars in a three-way tie on 15 points.
SuperSport United, meanwhile, continue to struggle. They racked up an eighth successive winless match in the league after succumbing 1-0 away to Golden Arrows, who gave their top eight hopes a boost.
The Absa Premiership will continue with a midweek match between Maritzburg United and SuperSport United, before a full round of fixtures played next weekend, January 19-21.
Absa Premiership weekend results
Friday 12 January
Ajax Cape Town 3-1 Platinum Stars
Maritzburg United 4-0 Bloemfontein Celtic
Saturday 13 January
Mamelodi Sundowns 1-3 Orlando Pirates
Kaizer Chiefs 2-1 Polokwane City
Free State Stars 1-0 Cape Town City
Sunday 14 January
Chippa United 1-1 Bidvest Wits
Baroka FC 2-0 AmaZulu
Golden Arrows 1-0 SuperSport United