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Date: 25 March 2019

  South African - Soccer

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News Headlines

Tense finish to ABSA PSL: Pirates are Champs!

[Posted 21 May 2011]
[By Brighton Mupangavanhu]
Ajax surrendered the ABSA League title to Pirates on the last day

Orlando Pirates crowned a day a spectacular day of miracles with championship winning performance at the Orlando Stadium on a Saturday afternoon, as they pipped Ajax Cape Town to the title following a 2-1 victory over Golden Arrows. Ajax could only manage a 2-2 draw with Maritzburg United at home to surrender a title which within their reach.

What a day of drama, tears and celebrations in South Africa's major cities of Johannesburg and Cape Town. It was such an afternoon of contrasting fortunes for two teams from Gauteng province, Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs, and Ajax of Cape Town.

One of the three teams had it in their power to walk away as champions on the lst day of PSL action in South Africa's topflight league, even though Ajax and Pirates were better placed to walk away champions.

Between Pirates and Ajax, it was the latter who had the simlest of tasks to be crowned champions. The Urban Warriors only needed to beat Maritzburg at home, while the Buccaneers needed to hope that Ajax would falter and they needed to beat Arrows.

At the end of the day, what looked like an easier task proved to be such a huge mountain to climb for the Capetonians, and they wilted under the Cape Town Stadium heat, and the weight of expectations from the mother city fans proved too much to bear for Ajax.

Foppe de Han's inexperienced boys succumbed to pressure, and allowed Maritzburg to equalise and then to steal the lead later.

Brilliant Zimbabwean import Khama Billiat, showed guts, skill and composure to turn two Maritzburg defenders inside out, as he wriggled his way to hit the ball with the art and precision of a veteran to gove Ajax the lead.

Ajax defence went to sleep when veteran keeper Hans Vonk made an aerror which qualifies for a moomish of the season, when he dilly-dallied with a back-pass to allow Gert Schalwyk to block his attempted clearance.

What a cruel way to punish youngsters from the Cape who showed a battling spirit up to that point.

The match ended 2-2 when Ajax had to score a late equaliser to cancel out Diyo Sbisi's penalty in the second half which had given the visitors a 2-1 lead.

At Orlando Stadium, Bongani Ndulula and Isaac Chansa scored to give Pirates the championship after a barren 8-seasons period.

Chiefs' Knowledge Musona scored in the 90th minute to give Amakhosi a 2-1 win at the Moses Mabhida Stadium, but Chiefs could only finish with 59 points, while Pirates and Ajax ended at 60 points, with Pirates winning the title courtesy of s superior goal difference.

The title race proved to be one of the best that South Africa has witnessed in many years.



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