THE penultimate round of NFD fixtures provided an avalanche of goals with some thrilling action across the country on Sunday afternoon.
There were six goals scored at the Athlone Stadium where Santos drew 3-3 with Chippa United on a day in which the Chilli Boys were officially crowned National First Division champions for the 2013/ 2014 season.
Chippa went into the break 1-0 up when captain Andile Mbenyane converted from the spot midway through the stanza, following a foul on Philani Dlamini by Santos keeper Pa Demba Touray.
But the Peoples’ Team were back on level terms when Piere Kok’s speculative 58th minute cross eluded everyone in the box, including Chippa keeper Abduraghmaan White and went into the net.
Playing in front of a sizable support base, the Chilli Boys were in front again five minutes later when Carl Finnigan’s persistence in the box resulted in a headed goal, only to again concede the advantage less than two minutes later when Suhayl Allie glanced in at the near post with a header.
With 10 minutes to go in a suspense-filled ending to the game, Kok notched his second goal of the game with a superb swerving volley. But this time it was Chippa who bounced back from behind when Dlamini stole in at the back post to convert Mbenyane’s cross five minutes from time, leaving the Philippi-based side to celebrate their trophy handover in good spirits.
Sunday also proved to be a good day for Baroka FC, Black Leopards and Jomo Cosmos, who all recorded victories to keep their play-off hopes alive.
Both the Limpopo teams, Baroka and Leopards, won away in Cape Town. Baroka beat Vasco da Gama 5-3 at Parow Park in an eight goal thriller, lifting the club up to second position on 49 points.
Leopards meanwhile scored through Abbas Amidi and an own goal from Siphiwe Gwala to secure a 2-1 victory over FC Cape Town, who netted via Sandile Mkhwanazi. The result sees Lidoda Duvha up into third spot (47 points). Leopards are above Milano due to having scored more goals this season – both sides have an equal goal difference.
Dropping out of the top three were Milano (who could only muster a 0-0 draw away at United FC at the Moruleng Stadium in what was a game of few chances.
Cosmos meanwhile are lingering just off the play-off zone, moving up to 46 points following their 2-1 win away to Maluti FET College at the Charles Mopeli Stadium, with Mzandile Ndzimandze scoring in the 16th minute on before Chartlon Mashumba swooped with a second half winner after the Free State side had scored just after the break.
Blackburn Rovers meanwhile notched up only their fourth win of the campaign with a 4-1 thrashing of Witbank Spurs at the Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium, too little too late though for the club that has already been relegated.
Thanda Royal Zulu were also winners on Sunday, extending their unbeaten streak to 14 after a 2-1 win over African Warriors. Getting the goals for the KZN side were Menzi Hlophe and Mhlengi Cele, while Kamohelo Mabuya scored for Warriors.
There was also a win for another side already doomed to relegation as Roses United grabbed a winner two minutes from time to beat Sivutsa Stars 2-1 at the Kabokweni Stadium.-www.psl.co.za