Pietermaritzburg - Kaizer Chiefs have suffered their second loss in the Absa Premiership this season going down 1-0 to Maritzburg United in a league match at the Harry Gwala Stadium on Wednesday night.
As it happened: Maritzburg United v Kaizer Chiefs
A single goal from Khumbulani Banda, his first touch of the game, nine minutes from time handed the Amakhosi only their second loss of the season.
The result combined with Mamelodi Sundowns 5-0 thumping of Polokwane City also on Wednesday night sees their lead at the top of the table reduced to eight points.
Chiefs now have 51 points from 23 league games, eight ahead of Sundowns with 43 points from 22 games.
The win for Maritzburg sees them into eighth place on the league table with 27 points from 22 games, only two points behind the University of Pretoria who lost 1-0 to Platinum Stars also on Wednesday night.
Chiefs were the better side for the most part in the opening half and had the lion’s share of possession, but their decision making in the final third was poor and chances on goal were at a minimum.
Instead, the first opening on goal came at the other end of the park in the 17th minute after a mistake by Willard Katsande allowed Thamsanqa Mkhize to control a right wing cross on his chest, but he volleyed wide from six-yards out.
A minute later Chiefs had their first significant shot on goal when Siphelele Mthembu showed good strength on the edge of the box before turning and let rip, but his low effort went inches wide.
There were no more decent scoring chances in the remainder of the half as the sides entered the break locked at 0-0
The second half saw Chiefs start the better of the two teams with a pin-point cross from Bernard Parker met by Tefu Mashamaite in the 52nd minute, but he headed over the target from close range.
Eight minutes later Parker worked himself into space on the edge of the Maritzburg box, but his low shot skimmed the wrong side of the post.
Substitute Khumbulani Banda changed the face of the game with his first touch in the 81st minute after he headed home a corner-kick to give Maritzburg the lead, 1-0.
Chiefs tried to get back into the match after that and came close in the 93rd minute when a 14-yard volley from Siboniso Gaxa struck the woodwork.
In the end it was not to be as Maritzburg walked away with their sixth win of the season and all three points in front of their jubilant home fans.
Maritburg United (0) 1 (Banda 81’)
Kaizer Chiefs (0) 0
Maritzburg United: Vries, Mabaso, P. Zulu, Mngonyama, Paintsil, De Jongh, Cele (Banda 80’), Mkhize, Anas (Mandaza 74’), Lentjies, Mekoa (Sekotlong 74’)
Kaizer Chiefs: Khune, Gaxa, Moleko, Mashamaite, Mathoho, Letsholonyane (Masango 72’), Katsande, Maluleka, Tshabalala, Parker, Mthembu (Rusike 64’)