Orlando Pirates captain Lucky Lekgwathi scored five minutes into stoppage time to secure a 2-1 win over ten-man SuperSport United on Tuesday and first place in the South African Premiership.
The veteran centre-back pounced on a clearance and rifled the ball low through a crowd of players and past goalkeeper Rowen Fernandez into the corner of the net at Peter Mokaba Stadium in the northern city of Polokwane.
Pirates supporters in a large public-holiday crowd reacted as if the Soweto club had retained the title, but the see-saw struggle for first prize is far from over. The Buccaneers have 52 points, three more than Mamelodi Sundowns, who visit off-form Kaizer Chiefs on Wednesday knowing a victory will take them back to the top on goal difference with only two rounds to go.
Defeat for SuperSport all but ended their championship ambitions as they lie third on 48 points with only two fixtures left, although they could have a major influence on who finishes first with their next game away to Sundowns.
SuperSport were the more impressive team and Lekgwathi headed against his crossbar during a goal-mouth scramble before Pirates took a 29th-minute lead when Tokelo Rantie gave Fernandez no chance with a close-range shot.
The equaliser just past the hour mark could be a candidate for goal of the season as former Pirates midfielder Sameehg Doutie steered an acute-angled free-kick outside the box over everyone and it dipped into the net at the far post.
United were reduced to ten men with 15 minutes left when combative Ghana-born midfielder Edwin Gyimah slapped Andile Jali on the face after being fouled and was shown a second yellow card.