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Football | Absa Premiership

Kaizer Chiefs celebrate their title win following a 1-1 draw against SuperSport United at Peter Mokaba Stadium

How Chiefs won the league



Kaizer Chiefs finally ended an eight-year Absa Premiership title drought following a 1-1 draw against SuperSport United at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Wednesday. That result was sufficient to hand them the title with one match to go as they could not be overtaken.

11 August: AmaZulu 0 Kaizer Chiefs 6

The Glamour Boys of SA football got their campaign off with a loud bang as they blasted AmaZulu 6-0 at the Moses Mabhida Stadium. That was enough to signal their intentions of challenging for league honours. Bafana Bafana striker Bernard Parker was particularly on fire as he chalked four of the six goals.

22 August: Kaizer Chiefs 2 Mamelodi Sundowns 1

Their first home-league match of the season at the magnificent FNB Stadium and the opponent came in the form of a potential title challenger but Sundowns were no match this time. Chiefs collected maximum points with second-half goals from Kingston Nkhatha and Siyabonga Nkosi. The engine was now beginning to warm up.

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September

Four matches on the roster and once again Chiefs further solidified their position at the top of the Absa Premiership. They collected maximum points except on one occasion – a trip to Charles Mopeli only yielded one point against Free State Stars on September 1 but that did not amount to a major setback. Full marks against Black Leopards (2-1), then away to Bidvest Wits (1-3) and finally at home to Chippa United (2-0) gave them a total of 10 in a month that proved productive for Stuart Baxter’s men.

October

Only two league matches in October due to international matches and the Telkom Knockout. It appeared the Amakhosi machine had hit a snag as they managed only two points from the 0-0 draw against Bloemfontein Celtic and 1-1 against Maritzburg United.

November

Once through the October pothole, the Amakhosi machine appeared revitalised as they clocked victories against Golden Arrows (3-0), then 2-1 away to SuperSport United and a hard-fought 3-2 result against Soweto neighbours Moroka Swallows. With the Birds almost certain to secure a share of the spoils following a 59th minute equaliser by Bennett Chenene, Lehlohonolo Majoro pounced on the 90th minute for a smash-and-grab and the Amakhosi faithful celebrated yet another victory.

The only dent was provided in their last match of the month away to Platinum Stars, a 2-0 setback. It was the first time they had failed to collect any points and the third time they had failed to score.

CLICK FOR A GALLERY OF HOW CHIEFS WON IT

December

Once the disappointment of the Stars defeat was behind, Chiefs took to December with guns blazing, well sort of, as they raked in eight points out of a possible 12. They hammered Ajax Cape Town 3-0, drew 1-1 with both Orlando Pirates and University of Pretoria and ended with a 2-0 home win against AmaZulu. Parker still had his scoring boots on as he chipped in with crucial goals to boost the Amakhosi campaign.

February

With the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations taking place on the Mzansi shores, domestic football took a break, which had many Amakhosi followers worried that it would somehow temper with their team’s momentum. They resumed action with a massive clash against underachieving big-spenders Mamelodi Sundowns at Loftus Stadium. The once mighty Brazilians were in a battle of their lives to move away from the bottom half of the table.

The clash ended in a deadlock and Chiefs were happy to move away with a point – still very much at the top of the table. They went on to strengthen their position at the top with victories against Free State Stars (2-1) and Black Leopards (3-1).

March

Two draws and two victories was all Amakhosi could muster here but significant was the fact that they managed to hold off title rivals Orlando Pirates in a 0-0 draw. Another vital fact for Amakhosi was that they only conceded one goal in four matches while putting six in the net. The 2-0 win against relegation candidates Chippa United and 3-0 against Bloem Celtic -- both away -- edged them closer and closer to their first league title in eight years.

April

The going was getting tough now for Amakhosi as fatigue took its toll on players. The pressure from their hungry horde of supporters also intensified the heat. Their title credentials were also put to the test.

Two significant matches in this month – 1-1 against Maritzburg United and 3-1 victory against Swallows – on both occasions they had to come from a losing position to rescue the points. Another milestone for Amakhosi was that they managed to hold off dark horses Platinum Stars, who needed victory against Chiefs on April 28 to take the title race down to the wire. As they have done throughout the season, Amakhosi walked away with a valuable point in a match that saw potential player of the season Itumeleng Khune sitting out due to suspension.

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May

Chiefs went to the Cape Town Stadium on May Day knowing that victory against Ajax Cape Town would hand them the title. Perhaps the pressure was too much to bear and the presence of their former coach Muhsin Ertugral on the Ajax bench seemed to do the trick for the Capetonians. Chiefs were on the verge of defeat following a 34th minute goal by Lebo Manyama but defender Tefu Mashamaite pulled level on 78 minutes. The match seemed headed for a draw but a sudden burst by Ajax saw them score two goals in three minutes to send their visitors home with nothing.

Suddenly the chasing pack (Platinum Stars and Pirates) had a glimmer of hope. More so as Chiefs would go on a 15-day break prior to their next match. It was never to be as the Absa Premiership trophy seemed to have the name Kaizer Chiefs written all over it. Pirates lost 1-0 to Sundowns at home and Stars also suffered a 2-1 defeat against Golden Arrows. Chiefs now needed just a point in their remaining two matches to sew up the title.

May 15 Kaizer Chiefs vs SuperSport United

With only a point needed to secure the first league title in eight years, Chiefs welcomed United to their other “home” at the Peter Mokaba Stadium. This venue had proved to a happy hunting ground for Stuart Baxter’s charges. Assistant Doctor Khumalo took charge of the team with Baxter watching from the Presidential Suite following his confrontation with the referee in the Nedbank Cup match against United FC.

Then Lehlohonolo Majoro got the black and gold crowd roaring with a 47th minute goal. At that stage both hand were now firmly on the trophy and only waiting to hoist it. But SuperSport United almost dampened the mood with a gutsy performance and a superb goal by veteran Sibusiso Zuma three minutes from time. The long wait was finally over as the referee blew the final whistle to send the Amakhosi entourage into wild celebrations.

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