Johannesburg – Kaizer Chiefs celebrated their first league title in eight years on Wednesday, despite a 1-1 draw with SuperSport United at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane.
Needing only a point to secure the title heading into the encounter, Lehlohonolo Majoro secured his 10th goal of the season, before second half replacement Sibusiso Zuma scored a late equaliser to draw level.
Nevertheless, the stalemate helped the Amakhosi to 57 points, four ahead of high-flying Platinum Stars, who cannot catch the Soweto outfit in the last round of fixtures take place over the weekend.
Chiefs' nervy draw guaranteed their first league triumph since the 2004-05 season, and in coach Stuart Baxter's first season in charge at Naturena.
With Baxter banished to the stands for abusive comments towards an assistant referee in their Nedbank Cup semi-final against United FC earlier this month, assistant coach Doctor Khumalo was on hand to marshal the troops.
Chiefs went in search of the early advantage, with Siphiwe Tshabalala, Bernard Parker and Lehlohonolo Majoro all granted opportunities, but none could find the target.
United had their best chance of the half in the 26th minute when Kermit Erasmus forced goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune into making a save from a free-kick effort.
Chiefs started the second period the brighter side and were rewarded just three minutes later, when Ronwen Williams' hesitation in goal allowed Majoro to net the opener with a measured left-footed strike.
Khune ensured his side remain ahead in the 66th minute, as the Bafana Bafana shot-stopper made an excellent save to deny George Maluleka what looked like a superb effort from long-range.
SuperSport maintained the pressure late when they struck the crossbar from the subsequent corner, before Zuma netted the equaliser, only for referee Thabo Nkosi to rule the goal offside, with replays confirming the infringement.
Chiefs saw out a tense final quarter and had the opportunity to double their advantage but Majoro miscued his headed effort and missed the mark.
But late drama was yet to come when Zuma was allowed time and space inside the Chiefs area. He swivelled on the ball and beat Khune with a thunderous effort when there were only three minutes left on the clock.
Chiefs held on though, and saw out the last five minutes, including additional time, to secure the memorable point, which was enough in the end to secure their crown. – Sapa