Chiefs suffer shock loss to Maritzburg

Kaizer Chiefs' South African Premiership title hopes were dealt a major blow Tuesday when they slumped 1-0 at home to lowly Maritzburg United.

The shock loss at Peter Mokaba Stadium left Chiefs six points behind leaders Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates with six rounds remaining. Sundowns and Pirates have 46 points each, Moroka Swallows 42, Chiefs 40 and SuperSport United 39 in the race for the title.

Chiefs, whose last championship success was seven seasons ago, appear to have a tougher fixture run-in than their rivals, starting Sunday with a tricky away match at relegation-threatened Santos in Cape Town.

After ineffective pressure for most of the game, Maritzburg snatched victory with a 74th-minute goal from Zimbabwe-born striker Cuthbert Malajila. Chiefs failed to cut out a long clearance and Malajila held off midfielder and compatriot Willard Katsande and defender Dominic Isaacs before poking the ball wide of goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune from close range.