Absa Premiership weekend review

Kaizer Chiefs consolidated their position at the top of the Absa Premiership table with victory in the Soweto derby over the past weekend, although Mamelodi Sundowns stayed hot on their heels.

However, Bidvest Wits' championship hopes took a blow, while at the other end of the log there was joy for Free States Stars after they won away for the first time in almost six months to move out of the relegation zone.

The battle at the top, though, failed to take another further twist with the defending champions bouncing back strongly from their rare midweek defeat to Platinum Stars in the 57th derby against arch rivals Orlando Pirates.

A first ever goal for the club by Zimbabwean midfielder Willard Katsande (61) was all that separated the sides 1-0 at the FNB Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

That win took Chiefs to 46 points from 21 games and later in the evening only one of their two challengers managers to win when the Brazilians ran out 1-0 winners over Polokwane City in Pretoria.

Teko Modise (17) grabbed the only goal, his second in as many games, to give Pitso Mosimane's men a narrow win - one that moved them onto 40 points and now alone in second place.

However, Wits were not as fortunate as one of Sundowns' on-loan players at Ea Lla Koto, Richard Henyekane, turned in the performance of the weekend with a hat-trick to give the Free Staters a fine 3-1 victory at Bidvest Stadium.

The striker, criticised in the build-up by coach Themba Sithole, responded emphatically with goals on the 36th, 70th and 87th minutes, before Robin Ngalande (89) netted a consolation before the end.

As a consequence of those two results, the visitors climbed up a place from 15th to 14th, while Polokwane now occupy the Promotion/Relegation Play-off place.

The Students are also now nine points adrift of Chiefs at the top, but do have a game in hand.

Elsewhere, Mpumalanga Black Aces and Moroka Swallows played out a seven-goal thriller at the KaNyamazane Stadium near Nelspruit with the hosts prevailing with a 5-2 scoreline to move into ninth position.

Tendai Ndoro (23 and 69) and Abia Nale (75 and 83 pen) both grabbed braces with Miguel Timm (44) also scoring for Clive Barker's men.

Edward Manqele (32) and Siyabonga Nomvete (79) were on the scoresheet for the Birds with goals that turned out to be consolations as their side stayed to 12th.

They are three points adrift of University of Pretoria and one further off Ajax Cape Town after the pair played out a goalless draw at the Athlone Stadium.

Meanwhile, Bloemfontein Celtic and SuperSport United stayed seventh and fifth respectively after their clash at the Kaizer Sebothelo Stadium ended 1-1 after Mame Niang's third-minute opener was cancelled out by a Hellings Mhango (79) goal close to the end.

Finally, Bongani Ndulula (70 and 76) hit a brace as AmaZulu came from behind to beat 13th-placed Maritzburg United 3-1 at the Harry Gwala Stadium and consolidate their top-eight position.

Kurt Lentjies (45) opened the scoring with a penalty, before Ndulula's double followed on from a Goodman Dlamini (51) equaliser.