27.09.2015 20:01 h

Platinum, Aces surprise South African leaders

Platinum Stars and Mpumalanga Black Aces -- usually occupants of bottom-half places -- shared the South African Premiership lead Sunday with 14 points each after six rounds.

Stars triumphed 3-1 at SuperSport United, a particularly pleasing result for coach Cavin Johnson as he was sacked by the losing club after a brief spell in charge last season.

It was the fourth consecutive victory for Platinum from north-west mining town Rustenburg after they began the league campaign with two draws.

Veteran Zambia goal poacher Collins Mbesuma bagged a brace as Aces won 4-1 at home to bottom club Maritzburg United, whose new coach, Clive Barker, could not prevent a fifth straight league loss.

While 1996 Africa Cup of Nations-winning coach Barker faces a tough task, Aces are sparkling since the close-season arrival of Turkish handler Muhsin Ertugral.

Bloemfontein Celtic and Wits, two other clubs that have never won the richest African national football league with a $720,000 (640,000 euros) first prize, are third, one point behind.

Mozambican Helder Pelembe struck just before and after half-time as Celtic made it four victories in a row by winning 2-0 at third-from-bottom Pretoria University.

Wits, third for the last two seasons under three-time SuperSport title-winning coach Gavin Hunt, played a 0-0 draw at Free State Stars, a much-improved side after starting with three losses.

Kaizer Chiefs and Mamelodi Sundowns, familiar names when it comes to South African championship races, share fifth place with Ajax Cape Town, four points adrift of the pacesetters.

Chiefs failed to hold a lead and drew 1-1 at Ajax in a repeat of the MTN 8 Cup final won by the Cape Town club last weekend.

Edward Manqele, one of several close-season signings aimed at bolstering a low-scoring attack, put the Soweto outfit ahead midway through the second half.

Veteran Nathan Paulse, scorer of the cup final winner off a penalty, is among the tallest Premiership footballers and used his height to good effect by nodding the equaliser soon after.

Keegan Dolly, unmissable on a pitch with his bushy locks, was the two-goal star as Sundowns followed up a last-gasp midweek victory over Ajax by winning 2-0 at Jomo Cosmos.

Promoted Cosmos, coached and owned by South African football legend Jomo Sono, are battling with just three points and one goal from six outings, leaving them one place off the bottom.

Much-travelled Burkina Faso striker Aristide Bance, another eye-catching footballer with dyed blond hair, scored his first goal for Chippa United in a 2-1 win over visiting Polokwane City.

Bance arrived in southern coastal city Port Elizabeth this month after playing for clubs in Belgium, Burkina Faso, Finland, Germany, Ivory Coast, Kazakhstan, Qatar, Turkey, Ukraine and the United Arab Emirates.