University of Pretoria put a slight damper on Kaizer Chiefs’ Absa Premiership title celebrations with a 1-0 win over the champions at the Mbombela Stadium on Saturday.
The victory – courtesy of a second half goal from Thabo Mosadi – sees AmaTuks finish in the top eight in their debut PSL season.
Kingston Nkhatha had three clear chances between the 21st minute and the half hour mark to hand Chiefs the lead, but twice he was denied by goalkeeper Washington Arubi before scuffing the best opportunity wide of the target.
The Chiefs fans responded by booing the burly Zimbabwean and calling for him to be substituted, but goalkeeper and captain Itumeleng Khune was able to calm the crowd and get them back behind the Soweto giants.
On 39 minutes Nkhatha almost provided an assist for Siyabonga Nkosi to score, but the midfielder saw his effort cleared off the goal line and he was flagged offside anyway. Two minutes later Tuks threatened from a corner kick, as Mpho Maruping powered a strong header just off target.
Tuks had rarely threatened in the first half, but on the hour mark they broke the deadlock through substitute Thabo Mosadi. The attacker sprinted clear of the defence to latch onto a flick-on from Mame Niang and was able to squeeze the ball home from a tight angle.
On 74 minutes Aubrey Ngoma should have put the University side two goals up, as he used his pace to sprint in behind the Amakhosi backline, but Khune came quickly off his line to make a brave block and keep his side in the contest.
The goalkeeper made another great save with 10 minutes of regulation time left, keeping out Ayanda Lubelo’s volley after another Niang flick-on had opened up the champions’ defence.
Siphiwe Tshabalala limped off late in the game – a worry for Chiefs in light of their participation in the Nedbank Cup final next weekend – though his replacement Kaizer Motaung Jnr almost came up with an equalising goal with his first touch, but Arubi was able to make a fine save.
University of Pretoria (0) 1 (Mosadi 60’)
Kaizer Chiefs 0
U Pretoria: Arubi, Ngubane, Mkhwanazi, Shoyisa, Moussono, Ketjijere (Mosadi 40’), Mutizwa, Selolwane, Ngoma, Maruping (Lubelo 62’), Niang (Monyai 90+2’)
Chiefs: Khune, Gaxa, Zvasiya, Mathoho, Ritchie, Dladla (Lebese 72’), Nkosi, Katsande, Tshabalala (Motaung Jnr 86’), Nkhatha (Ngcobo 65’), Parker – Backpage Media