A blunder by South Africa World Cup goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune cost Kaizer Chiefs dearly today as they fell seven points behind Premiership pacesetters Mamelodi Sundowns.
Khune gifted lowly Free State Stars a 1-0 victory near Bloemfontein by fumbling a shot while Lebogang Mokoena scored twice as Sundowns came from behind to defeat Golden Arrows 3-1 in Durban. The results meant Sundowns stretched their lead over second-placed Chiefs to seven points after ten rounds of the richest African national football championship.
Wits University lost a chance to go second above Chiefs, Ajax Cape Town and Arrows on goal difference when lightning and heavy rain forced the postponement of a home fixture against AmaZulu until tomorrow.
Free State have found scoring difficult this season with a meagre five in nine league outings before facing Chiefs and they could hardly believe their luck 13 minutes into the opening half. Khune failed to clutch a long-range Mpho Makola shot at Botshabelo Stadium and the ball fell invitingly for Boitumelo Sekgobela to slam it into the net from close range.
It was Chiefs' third league loss in four matches after shock home defeats by Cape Town clubs Santos and Vasco da Gama, and came just seven days after they outclassed arch Soweto rivals Orlando Pirates 3-0 to lift the League Cup.
Sundowns, chasing a record sixth title since the Premiership was launched 14 years ago, also fell behind as out-of-favour South Africa defender Bryce Moon struck on ten minutes for Arrows. But the visitors hit back to lead 2-1 at half-time thanks to a Mokoena brace and fellow striker Mabhuti Khenyeza ensured maximum points with a third goal two minutes from full-time.
Defending champions SuperSport United slumped 2-0 at home to Platinum Stars with the half-time introduction of Botswanan Dipsy Selolwane and Angolan Jose Pereira having little impact. An amateurish blunder by English goalkeeper Wayne Brown allowed Namibian Henrico Botes to give Stars a 12th-minute lead and Mduduzi Nyanda tapped a cross into the net as half-time approached.
Bottom-of-the-table Moroka Swallows remain winless after 10 games, but new coach Gordon Igesund was impressed with the fighting spirit as Morgan Shivambu wiped out a lead Kenyan Musa Otieno gave Santos in a 1-1 Cape Town deadlock.
Promoted Vasco, dismissed by most pundits as having no chance of survival, climbed into the top half of the table with a 3-2 home win over strugglers Maritizburg United in the opening weekend fixture.