Absa Premiership wrap: A fine first weekend in South Africa's top flight

Absa Premiership wrap: A fine first weekend in South Africa's top flight
Gaston Sirino of Mamelodi Sundowns challenged by Siphosakhe Ntiya Ntiya of Kaizer Chiefs during the Absa Premiership 2018/19 match between Mamelodi Sundowns and Kaizer Chiefs at the Loftus Versveld Stadium, Pretoria on 04 August 2018 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

by Brian Lee

Monday Aug 06, 2018. 09:49

The first round of the 2018/19 Absa Premiership wrapped up on Sunday, with Bloemfontein Celtic and Golden Arrows claiming 2-0 wins to bring to an end a fine first weekend of football in South Africa’s top flight.

The season kicked off with a marquee clash between defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns and Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs at Loftus Stadium on Saturdayafternoon. The two heavyweights cancelled each other out and drew 1-1, with Ramahlwe Mphahlele’s early goal and Ricardo Nascimento’s penalty ensuring the spoils were shared.

The early evening games featured three home wins, as Bidvest Wits crushed Free State Stars 3-0 in Johannesburg, Cape Town City defeated SuperSport United 2-0 to see Kaitano Tembo’s reign as permanent coach of Matsatsantsa get off to a losing start, and Black Leopards marked their return to the top flight with a win over regional rivals Polokwane City, thanks to a lone goal from Karabo Tshepe.

The night games featured an early contender for blunder of the season, as Orlando Pirates goalkeeper Wayne Sandilands allowed a simple back-pass from Gladwin Shitolo to get the better of him and hand Highlands Park a 1-1 draw at Orlando Stadium despite having zero shots on target, while AmaZulu edged Baroka FC 1-0 in Durban.

Sunday’s matches featured a brilliant goal for Knox Mutizwa to inspire a 2-0 away win for Golden Arrows over Maritzburg United in a KwaZulu-Natal derby, while Steve Komphela’s reign as Bloemfontein Celtic coach got off to a great start as his side trumped Chippa United 2-0 at the Dr Molemela Stadium.

The second round of Absa Premiership matches will take place this coming midweek, with the eight matches spread across TuesdayWednesday and Thursday. The pick of the clashes is Tuesday’s meeting of Kaizer Chiefs and Bidvest Wits at the FNB Stadium.

Absa Premiership results

Saturday, August 4

Mamelodi Sundowns 1-1 Kaizer Chiefs

Bidvest Wits 3-0 Free State Stars

Cape Town City 2-0 SuperSport United

Black Leopards 1-0 Polokwane City

Orlando Pirates 1-1 Highlands Park

AmaZulu 1-0 Baroka

Sunday, August 5

Bloemfontein Celtic 2-0 Chippa United

Maritzburg United 0-2 Golden Arrows


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