Pirates close in log-leaders Sundowns, Platinum Stars relegated


JOHANNESBURG, April 26 – Round 28 of the 2017/18 Absa Premiership season saw drama in the title race, as Orlando Pirates closed to within four points of leaders Mamelodi Sundowns, while Platinum Stars’ relegation was confirmed.

The midweek round of games wrapped up on Wednesday night, with Pirates claiming a 4-0 win over outgoing champions Bidvest Wits at an empty Orlando Stadium to close the gap to the top to four points with two rounds to play.

Table-topping Sundowns were held 2-2 by Maritzburg United at the Harry Gwala Stadium, with the Team of Choice twice coming from behind to establish themselves as the Brazilians’ new bogey side – they famously knocked the Tshwane giants out of the Nedbank Cup last weekend.

Elsewhere, Platinum Stars were relegated after their 2-1 loss to AmaZulu confirmed that they will finish bottom of the log, SuperSport United took a major step away from the danger zone with a thrilling 3-2 victory over Free State Stars.

Polokwane City remains in danger after they could only draw 1-1 at home to Cape Town City.

The round’s action got underway on Tuesday, with the feature game seeing Golden Arrows pour more misery onto beleaguered Kaizer Chiefs, as their first game in the post-Steve Komphela era ended in a 3-1 loss at Princess Magogo Stadium.

Ajax Cape Town struck late through Mosa Lebusa to beat Baroka 1-0 and give themselves a major boost in the battle against relegation, while Bloemfontein Celtic and Chippa United played out a goalless draw which edges both teams along in their aim to finish in the top eight.

The Premiership will continue with its penultimate round of the 2017/18 season, which will see eight matches played simultaneously on Saturday. All matches kick-off at 3 pm.

Absa Premiership midweek results:
Bloemfontein Celtic 0 Chippa United 0
Ajax Cape Town 1 Baroka FC 0
Golden Arrows 3 Kaizer Chiefs 1
Orlando Pirates 4 Bidvest Wits 0
Polokwane City 1 Cape Town City 1
Platinum Stars 1 AmaZulu 2
SuperSport United 3 Free State Stars 2
Maritzburg United 2 Mamelodi Sundowns 2

– African News Agency (ANA)