Mehluli Sibanda, Senior Sports Reporter
THERE was heartbreak for the Zimbabwean duo of Willard Katsande and Khama Billiat at Kaizer Chiefs when Amakhosi lost out to Mamelodi Sundowns in the race for the Absa South Africa Premiership title with Masandawana crowned champions on the last day of the season yesterday.
Sundowns, 3-0 victorious over Black Leopards finished on top of the log with 59 points while Chiefs, held to a 1-1 draw by compatriot Elvis Chipezeze’s Baroka were two points behind in second place.
Billiat’s goal, the second in as many matches was not enough for the Glamour Boys to overcome a stubborn Baroka at the Bidvest Stadium.
Chiefs could not hold on to the lead given to them by the Warriors star in the 39th minute.
Mozambican Manuel Kambala headed in a Gerald Phiri free kick past veteran keeper Itumeleng Khune in the 59th minute and Chiefs failed to break the deadlock until the end. Across the City of Gold at Dobsonville Stadium, man of the match Lebohang Maboe struck a hat-trick to hand Sundowns their fifth title in seven years as they extended their record as the most successful team in the PSL era with 10 titles.
Billiat on Wednesday gave Chiefs the best opportunity to be crowned champions for the first time in five years when he scored in their 1-0 triumph over Chippa United at Orlando Stadium.
Heading into yesterday’s final day of fixtures, Chiefs had the advantage as they topped the standings on goal difference.
The situation was even tougher for Pitso Mosimane and his boys who had to overturn a five-goal deficit enjoyed by the Ernst Middendorp-mentored lads.
Chiefs will now look back and wonder how they let a team that was at some stage during the course of the season in fourth place while they enjoyed a 10-point lead at the top come from behind and beat them to the title.
With the draw Baroka finished third from bottom to avoid relegation play offs, while Polokwane City, home to Zimbabwean goalkeeper George Chigova were demoted from South Africa’s top division.