Ivory Coast goalkeeper Badra Sangare starred as Sekhukhune United spoiled the 53rd birthday of Kaizer Chiefs with a shock 1-0 South African Premiership win on Saturday.
Formed on January 7, 1970, Chiefs have won a record 54 domestic trophies and are the most popular club in the republic, drawing 90,000 crowds when they face greatest rivals Orlando Pirates.
Playing at home in the southern outskirts of Johannesburg, the Amakhosi (Chiefs) were expected to secure maximum points from rivals who had not won away in seven previous attempts this season.
But Sangare, who has understudied Toaster Nsabata, a Zambian, for most of the campaign, made numerous great saves and helped his teammates become party poopers as they rose to 10th place.
After surviving first half pressure from Chiefs, the visitors went ahead on 49 minutes through Vusumzi Mncube.
He dispossessed a careless opponent and raced through to score with a low shot that veteran Chiefs goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune got a hand to but could not prevent trickling into the net.
“We were not in a good league position so this win is very important,” said Sangare. “There is no option now other than to fight for victories.
“Having not played in the last match, I was fresher than many of my teammates and that contributed to my performance tonight.
“Our new coach (Brandon Truter) has given us the freedom to express ourselves, which is very important. Unless you enjoy football, there is no point playing the game.”
Despite losing, Chiefs remained fourth, but they are 13 points adrift of leaders Mamelodi Sundowns halfway through the 30-round season and almost certainly out of the title race.
While Sundowns triumphed 2-0 away to Richards Bay on Friday, the next five clubs in the table at the start of the weekend all lost.
Second-placed SuperSport United fell 2-1 on the road to Golden Arrows in Durban, where they were unlucky as a late first-half goal from Bradley Grobler was wrongly ruled offside.
Colombian Juan Zapata and Venezuelan Darwin Gonzalez netted as Cape Town City came from behind to win 2-1 against Pirates.
Source: Modern Ghana