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Football | Absa Premiership

Lehlohonolo Majoro © Backpagepix

Downs and Pirates win, Chiefs held

The opening round of the 2017/18 Absa Premiership has been completed, with the likes of Mamelodi Sundowns, Cape Town City and Maritzburg United claiming impressive victories, while Kaizer Chiefs suffered disappointment for the second successive weekend after being held to a draw in Bloemfontein.

The round opened with Benni McCarthy’s Cape Town City making a major statement, as they defeated champions Bidvest Wits 1-0 on their home ground in Johannesburg. Lehlohonolo Majoro scored the only goal to see McCarthy get the better of his former mentor Gavin Hunt, who watched the game from the stands due to a touchline ban.

Saturday afternoon’s highlight was Mamelodi Sundowns’ 2-0 away win over Tshwane rivals SuperSport United, as Hlompho Kekana and Themba Zwane scored well-taken goals to see the Brazilians start the campaign with an impressive victory.

AmaZulu also made headlines with a 1-0 home win over Free State Stars in their first game back in the Absa Premiership, while the Limpopo derby between Polokwane City and Baroka FC ended in a goalless stalemate.

‘Micho’ Sredojevic earned some good will with the Orlando Pirates fans after Thamsanqa Gabuza’s first-half goal earned them a 1-0 win over Chippa United in Soweto, while the Ajax Cape Town v Golden Arrows match ended in a 1-1 draw to wrap up a busy Saturday.

Sunday brought an impressive away performance from Maritzburg United, who showed their pace and power on the counter attack to defeat Platinum Stars 2-0 in Rustenburg, while Kaizer Chiefs’ hopes of a winning start were dashed by Bloemfontein Celtic.

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The Amakhosi claimed a first-half lead in the teams’ clash in the Free State thanks to a towering header from Erick Mathoho, but a second-half penalty from Atusaye Nyondo pegged them back - it was the first league goal Chiefs have shipped against Celtic since 2010/11.

The Absa Premiership resumes this coming midweek with a full set of fixtures played across Tuesday and Wednesday evenings.

Absa Premiership weekend results

Friday 18 August

Bidvest Wits 0-1 Cape Town City

Saturday 19 August

SuperSport United 0-2 Mamelodi Sundowns

Polokwane City 0-0 Baroka FC

AmaZulu 1-0 Free State Stars

Orlando Pirates 1-0 Chippa United

Ajax Cape Town 1-1 Golden Arrows

Sunday 20 August

Bloemfontein Celtic 1-1 Kaizer Chiefs

Platinum Stars 0-2 Maritzburg United


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