Tiisetso Malepa | 2017-05-13 20:07:05.0
Polokwane City Sammy Seabi celebrates with goalscorere Thapelo Tshilo during the Absa Premiership match agaisnt Kaizer Chiefs at New Peter Mokaba Stadium on May 13, 2017 in Polokwane.
Image by: Philip Maeta/Gallo Images
The prospect of not playing continental football for the second season on the trot grew bigger for Kaizer Chiefs as they look set to finish outside of the top three.
Amakhosi were humbled 1-0 by a determined Polokwane City at a wet and windy Peter Mokaba Stadium on Saturday evening with veteran defender Thapelo Tshilo slotting home the only goal of the match with 15 minutes remaining.
It was City’s first ever Premier Soccer League (PSL) win over Chiefs after seven previous attempts, which yielded four wins for Amakhosi and three draws.
The defeat, their fifth of the season to go with 12 draws, stretched Amakhosi’s winless run to four matches and leaves them five points behind third-placed Cape Town City and an unassailable 10 points adrift of leaders Bidvest Wits with two matches remaining.
Chiefs remain stuck in 5 place on the Absa Premiership standings and are almost certain to miss out on Confederation of African Football (CAF) Africa’s second highest continental club competition – the Confedaration Cup next season.
For a team that harbours ambitions of conquering the continent, to miss out on CAF football for the second season running, coupled with also having failed to win any silverware since taking over the hotseat two years ago, will heap more pressure of coach Steve Komphela.
The team that finishes third on the log qualifies for the Confederation Cup while the champions and runners-up take part in the premier competition the Champions League.
However, the former club captain has had a public vote of confidence from chairman Kaizer Motaung in the days leading up to this tie.
Having last played a match exactly a week ago, both sides went into the match with fresh legs looking to pick up crucial maximum points but it wasn’t to be as they struggled to create clear-cut opportunities in the opening half.
Barring a Joseph Molangoane missed header with only keeper Itumeleng Khune to beat and a Sipho Jembula header which forced the Bafana Bafana shotstopper into a spectacular save, there was really nothing to write home about in the first half.
Chiefs enjoyed the lion’s share of possession after the restart with Molangoane and Goerge Lebese causing problems for the home defence but could not find the penetrating pass that leads to a goal.
Hendrick Ekstein should have put Chiefs in front on the hour mark after being well set up by a clever Lebese pass behind the defence but the stocky playmaker was denied by George Chigova in the Polokwane goal.
Molangoane also had a chance to break the deadlock as Chiefs upped the tempo in search of the opening goal but it was Tshilo who arrived late at the far post to tap in and hand Rise and Shine their ninth win of the season and guarantee a place in next season’s MTN Top8.
– TMG Digital/TMG Sport