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Football | Absa Premiership

Orlando Pirates © Gallo Images

Bucs close in on Chiefs, Birds win



The final round of Absa Premiership matches for 2012 was wrapped up on Wednesday night and the league heads into a long recess with Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates separated by just a point at the top of the table.

Chiefs ensured that they ended the year on top of the log with a comfortable 2-0 home win over AmaZulu at FNB Stadium on Tuesday night. Matthew Rusike scored his first goal for the Amakhosi to set them on the path to victory, while Bernard Parker added the second late on to rack up his ninth league strike of the season – five of them have come against Usuthu.

At the same time, Maritzburg United ended their losing streak with a 1-1 home draw against University of Pretoria at the Harry Gwala Stadium. AmaTuks’ Mame Niang opened the scoring with an early penalty, before Cuthbert Malajila levelled the game before halftime with a spot kick of his own.

Wednesday night’s action saw Pirates respond to Chiefs’ 2-0 win over a Durban side by achieving the same feat themselves to move back to within a point of their great rivals. Bucs beat Golden Arrows 2-0 at Moses Mabhida Stadium thanks to goals from Daine Klate and Happy Jele.

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Platinum Stars, winners of the Q-2 Innovation thanks to their spectacular recent form, would have been hoping to keep pace with the Soweto giants, but they were shot down 2-0 away to Moroka Swallows, who desperately needed a win and got all three points thanks to well-taken goals by Bennett Chenene and Katlego Mashego.

Another team in need of a win was Ajax Cape Town, but their former player Franklin Cale came back to haunt them as he scored late on to hand SuperSport United a 2-1 win in Polokwane.

The remainder of the matches ended in 1-1 draws as Bidvest Wits were held at home by Free State Stars (who got their equaliser in injury time through Luyolo Nomandela), Bloemfontein Celtic and Black Leopards shared the spoils at Free State Stadium, and Mamelodi Sundowns’ resurgence hit a speed bump away to Chippa United in Cape Town.

Absa Premiership Round 16 results

Tuesday

Kaizer Chiefs 2 (Rusike 36’, Parker 82’) AmaZulu 0

Maritzburg United 1 (Malajila 36’ pen) University of Pretoria 1 (Niang 13’ pen)

Wednesday

Golden Arrows 0 Orlando Pirates 2 (Klate 25’, Jele 54’)

Moroka Swallows 2 (Chenene 38’, Mashego 45’) Platinum Stars 0

SuperSport United 2 (Nxumalo 45+1’, Cale 89’) Ajax Cape Town 1 (Wanderson 73’)

Bidvest Wits 1 (Kadi 60’ pen) Free State Stars 1 (Nomandela 90+1’)

Bloemfontein Celtic 1 (Manzini 29’) Black Leopards 1 (Bobe 32’)

Chippa United 1 (Qalanto 30’) Mamelodi Sundowns 1 (Arendse 69’)

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