Witbank - Kaizer Chiefs fought back in the second half to hold off Mpumalanga Black Aces in a high-scoring 3-3 draw at Puma Stadium in Witbank on Wednesday night.
Second last on the log before the game, with only three wins from 13 matches, Aces came agonisingly close to picking up a morale-boosting win over Chiefs and dragging themselves out of the relegation zone.
But a late fight saw the visitors sneak a draw as Aces’ woes continued.
Midfielder Esau Mtsweni got the hosts off the mark in the 12th minute when he fired one past Chiefs goalkeeper Arthur Bartman, but the visitors hit back immediately when two minutes later Knowledge Musona was set up by David Mathebula and netted the equaliser.
Aces, however, continued to push ahead and in the 29th minute were rewarded when Lehumo Itshegetseng got a pass through to Zambian striker Clifford Mulenga who thundered in a shot from long range.
And with less than 10 minutes remaining on the first half clock, Aces stretched their advantage when Mpho Maleka received a cross from Malenga on the left wing and ensured the home side would take a 3-1 lead into the break.
Nine minutes after the restart Zimbabwe international Musona, who had replaced Josea Torrealba in the Chiefs line-up, reduced the deficit to one goal when he secured his brace with a close range effort.
in the last minute before the final whistle, Aces’ Shere Lekgothoane fouled Mosuna and Siphiwe Tshabalala took full advantage of the last-gasp chance as he slotted it into the top right corner and earned Chiefs, who are hovering around mid-table, their 19th point of the season.
Aces coach Sammy Troughton, however, will need to mend the errors in defence that leave his newly promoted side facing a speedy return to the first division.