Orlando Pirates surrendered a two-goal lead and the chance to top the South African Premiership table when Moroka Swallows stormed back to win 3-2 on Tuesday.
Defeat in a Soweto derby thriller completed a disastrous four days for the former African champions after a stunning 4-1 hiding from third-tier Maluti College in the first round of the South African FA Cup.
Victory over Swallows would have lifted Pirates a point above fierce rivals Kaizer Chiefs 11 rounds from the end of the richest African national football championship with a $US1.2 million (€920,000) first prize.
The defending champions began perfectly with a 58-second goal after Swallows failed to cut off a long clearance and Zimbabwean Takesure Chinyama put Sifiso Myeni through to score.
Pirates doubled their advantage on 37 minutes as Andile Jali sent Nigerian Greg Etafia the wrong way from a penalty harshly awarded when the ball touched the hand of Roger da Costa.
Former Buccaneer Katelgo Mashego halved the deficit on the stroke of half-time at balmy Dobsonville Stadium as he fired a cut-back from Dikgang Mabalane past Senzo Meyiwa.
Poor ball control cost Oupa Manyisa an early second-half chance to restore a two-goal advantage and it was to prove a costly miss for Pirates as Swallows netted twice within eight minutes midway through the half.
Skipper Lefa Tsutsulupa headed the equaliser after a Mabalane drive came back off the post and Lerato Chabangu nodded the winner with his back to goal following a free-kick.
It was only the third league loss in 19 games by Pirates as they seek a third consecutive title, and bottom-half Swallows have inflicted two of those as they won 3-0 away last September.
Botswana international Mogogi Gabonamong headed past Zimbabwe goalkeeper Washington Arubi 14 minutes from time to give SuperSport United a 1-0 home win over Pretoria University in a mid-table clash in Atteridgeville.