26.01.2020 16:11 h

Manyama snatches lucky win for off-form leaders Kaizer Chiefs

Lebogang Manyama scored in stoppage time as Kaizer Chiefs edged unlucky Golden Arrows 1-0 this weekend to go 10 points clear at the top of the South African Premiership.

One of the least entertaining matches in the league this season seemed destined to end goalless in Indian Ocean port city Durban when the midfielder struck.

A cross was parried by Arrows goalkeeper Sifiso Mlungwana and former South Africa international Manyama reacted quickest to score with a hard shot into the corner of the net.

Chiefs hardly threatened before the 93rd-minute winner and did not look like a team topping the richest African national league with a 15 million rand ($1 mn/945,000 euros) first prize.

The Soweto club, who have not won a trophy for four and a half seasons, have 45 points from 19 matches, Mamelodi Sundowns 35, SuperSport United 34 and Orlando Pirates 33.

Although fifth-place Bidvest Wits trail Chiefs by 15 points, the Johannesburg outfit could prove the greatest threat as they have played four matches less than the leaders.

Chiefs' German coach Ernst Middendorp hailed the perseverance of his off-form team after the dramatic victory.

"We did not play well but never stopped trying to win the match. It was a case of knocking repeatedly on the door," he said.

"Arrows defended unbelievably well and as the league season heads into the final third we are going to face many more teams defending in depth and trying to catch us on the break."

Arrows coach Steve Komphela, who spent three trophyless seasons guiding Chiefs before resigning, was gutted at surrendering all three points so late.

"Football can be very cruel. We were so well organised defensively and while we may not have deserved to win this match, we certainly should not have lost it," he said.

Arrows slipped into the bottom half of the table after the loss, their fourth in six league outings.

In-form Orlando Pirates beat bottom-of-the-table AmaZulu 1-0 in another match that produced a victory for a Soweto club over Durban opponents.

AmaZulu defied their lowly position by matching the former African champions during the first half of a clash between two of the oldest professional football clubs in South Africa.

But once Vincent Pule put the Buccaneers ahead on 52 minutes, the home side took control only to be foiled by a string of fine saves from Siyabonga Mbatha.

Pirates' German coach Josef Zinnbauer has won five matches and drawn one since succeeding Serb Milutin Sredojevic, who quit to join Egyptian giants Zamalek and was subsequently fired.

Having taken just one point from five matches, Slovakia-born AmaZulu coach Jozef Vukusic is under pressure and a former coach of the club, Clive Barker, watched the match in Soweto.

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