Absa Premiership log leaders Kaizer Chiefs have thrown down the gauntlet to the chasing pack, telling them to “catch us if you can”.
This after a come-from-behind 5-3 victory over Bloemfontein Celtic at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban last night.
In the end, the final scoreline might be somehow deceiving and flattering as Chiefs were made to sweat hard for the victory – their 11th of the season.
This was a ding-dong affair that kept supporters on the edge of their seats.
Celtic were first on the scoresheet through captain Ndumiso Mabena just 12 minutes into the game. But Chiefs were soon on level terms thanks to Samir Nurkovic, who capitalised on poor defending to finish off a well-worked set-piece.
However, it was the visitors who took the lead again through Harris Tchilimbou, but were once again let down by poor defending and indecisiveness in their box, and Nurkovic pounced again.
Celtic, however, restored their lead yet again through Siphelele Luthuli to take their 3-2 lead into the break.
But, within a minute of the game restarting, Chiefs were back on level terms.
Amakhosi won a corner kick and Leonardo Castro slotted home with a header.
Then it was Chiefs all the way in the second stanza. They took the lead for the first time through the Serb, who completed his hat-trick with a well-taken volley from a Castro cross.
Celtic had no answers to the marauding Amakhosi, who launched attack after attack.
Phunya Sele Sele’s defensive frailties were telling as Chiefs exploited them at the back.
To their credit, Chiefs did not sit back and shut the door when they were ahead. They wanted an insurance goal, which duly arrived through another Castro header – his second of the game.
There were no more goals after this as Chiefs easily saw out the match to take another step towards the league championship.
Chiefs might have played only 13 games, but their current form suggests they are the team to beat this season. Of the 13 matches they have played, they have only lost once and drawn once.
Now the challenge is on for the other sides to try to derail them.
The question is, who will stop this Amakhosi train?
Earlier in the day, Orlando Pirates threw away a two-goal lead to draw with Baroka FC at Peter Mokaba Stadium.
The Buccaneers were two goals to the good, but the treasure slipped from their grasp with only 10 minutes remaining.
Things fell apart from the 82nd minute, when returning Pirates captain Happy Jele scored an own goal before Baroka skipper Gerald Phiri Junior salvaged a point for the hosts with virtually no time left on the clock.
Following weeks of contrasting results, Pirates were well on course to renew the hopes of their faithful with a rare back-to-back victory in the current campaign.
This especially after the Buccaneers arrived at Peter Mokaba Stadium having put one over another Limpopo-based side, Polokwane City, over a week ago.
But it was not to be as they dropped two crucial points.
In other Absa Premiership fixtures yesterday, Black Leopards and AmaZulu played to a goalless draw at Thohoyandou Stadium, and Chippa United beat Cape Town City 1-0 in Cape Town. – City Press correspondent