SuperSport United won a third consecutive South African Premiership title on Wednesday despite losing 2-1 at home against lowly Wits University. Mamelodi Sundowns, the only side with a chance to catch SuperSport before the matches, slumped 2-0 at bottom club Jomo Cosmos and cannot overtake their Pretoria neighbours with one round left.
SuperSport have 57 points and Sundowns 53 ahead of the 6 March finale to the richest national football championship on the continent. Both sides will qualify for the 2011 African Champions League. A grim Gavin Hunt, who coached United to all three league titles to equal a record held by Sundowns, looked more like the coach of a relegated team when the final whistle blew.
"This was a very disappointing result. Our final pass in attack was poor, and we defended pathetically at times," he said after a game settled by a close-range shot from Wits leading scorer Calvin Kadi on 68 minutes. "However, it is what you do over 30 matches that counts. My players showed a lot of heart and discipline this season, and we won the title with more points than in the previous two seasons, which indicates improvement."
Wits coach Roger de Sa praised SuperSport and Hunt. "To win the Premiership once is magnificent, twice is incredible and three times in a row unbelievable," he said.
Victory for Cosmos left them one point behind Mpumalanga Black Aces and in with a chance of dodging the drop if they avoid defeat away to Moroka Swallows in the final round. The bottom club is relegated to the two-region second-tier national league while the second last team goes into play-offs with three clubs from the lower division.