By Sports Reporter
ZIMBABWE Warriors star Khama Billiat scored his second goal in as many matches but his contribution proved in vain as Kaizer Chiefs’ Absa Premiership title hopes went up in smoke after they were held 1-1 by Baroka at the Bidvest Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Chiefs only to match Sundowns’ result against Black Leopards to win the league title, but after claiming the lead they were unable to push on and secure the three points – instead allowing Baroka back into the game to pick up a draw which ensured they avoided the relegation playoffs.
Amakosi’s slip up ensured Sundowns snatched the trophy from the grips of Kaizer Chiefs after Lebohang Maboe’s brilliant hat-trick in a 3-0 win over Black Leopards secured them the Absa Premiership title.
It was a disappointing finish to the season for the Zimbabwean duo of Billiat and Willard Katsande, who, at one stage in the season, were 13 points ahead and looked like they were cruising towards their first title in five years.
Billiat had early put Chiefs in the driving seat after scoring with a cool left-footed finish from inside the box in the 39th minute for his second league goal in as many matches after 12 months without scoring.
His recent performances come at a crucial time after facing massive criticism for under-performances and he appeared to be on course to finally have the last laugh.
But Mozambican Manuel Kambala levelled for Baroka just before the hour mark in Johannesburg, beating goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune at his near post with a header off a free-kick.
Chiefs sent on three substitutes with 20 minutes remaining, including Zambian Lazarous Kambole and Kenyan Anthony Akumu, but none of them could deliver a match-winner.
The Soweto outfit often resorted to high crosses and Zimbabwe-born Baroka goalkeeper Elvis Chipezeze excelled as he repeatedly caught them under pressure securing a 1-all draw, which means his side be playing their football in the top flight again next season.
Sundowns completed the 30-round championship with 59 points, two more than Chiefs, and Orlando Pirates finished third on 52 thanks 1-0 victory against Ovidy Karuru’s Stellenbosch.
The newly crowned champions will represent South Africa in the 2020/2021 CAF Champions League with Chiefs while Pirates and Bloemfontein Celtic enter the second-tier Confederation Cup.
Bidvest Wits which is home to the Zimbabwean trio of Terrence Dzvukamanja, Farai Madhananga and MacClive Phiri finished third after a 3-1 win over relegated Polokwane City whose side included Warriors goalkeeper George Chigova, Walter Musona and Charlton Mashumba.
Kaitano Tembo’s SuperSport United side lost 1-0 to Cape Town City on the last day to finish the campaign in 5th place and missed the ticket to play in the next edition of the CAF Confederation Cup.
SuperSport United is also home to Zimbabwean stars Kuda Mahachi, Onismor Bhasera , Evans Rusike and Washington Arubi.
Striker Knox Mtizwa missed out on the top goal scorer’s award after firing blanks as his Golden Arrows lost 1-0 to Chippa United on the final day of the season.
Mtizwa finished the campaign with 12 goals four behind Orlando Pirates and Malawian striker Gabadinho Mhango, who finished as the top goal-scorer in the PSL for the 2019/20 season.