09.03.2016 21:59 h

Former Pirate wrecks Chiefs' title hopes

Title-holders Kaizer Chiefs all but surrendered the South African Premiership crown Wednesday after a 2-0 loss at nemesis Platinum Stars.

It was the third league defeat of the season for the four-time Premiership champions and two of them have been inflicted by the unfashionable club from north-west mining town Rustenburg.

Failure left third-place Chiefs 13 points adrift of leaders Mamelodi Sundowns with only eight rounds remaining of the most lucrative African national football league.

To make the disappointment even harder to bear for Chiefs, it was a former player of greatest rivals Orlando Pirates who inflicted the damage at the Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace stadium.

Ndumiso Mabena, back from a three-match suspension, scored via a deflected shot after 24 minutes and cheekily converted a penalty 11 minutes from time.

"I had to cement my place in the team after missing three games," he said. "As for the cheeky spot-kick, it is something I practice a lot during training."

Chiefs coach Steve Komphela was blunt as he faced a trophy-less domestic season after failing to win any of the three cup competitions.

"We were terrible, really bad," he confessed. "There was no composure in the attacking third of the pitch, only anxiety.

"Platinum took their chances well, but both goals stemmed from our mistakes. We lacked hunger and clinical finishing."

Former South Africa centre-back and captain Komphela has only two days to lift his deflated squad for a CAF Champions League last-32 clash with Ivory Coast visitors ASEC Mimosas.

Mabena put Stars ahead with a shot that struck the boot of Chiefs' Erick Mathoho and looped over fit-again goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune.

A Bernard Parker hand-ball led to the penalty and Mabena waited for Khune to commit before placing the ball in the opposite corner.

Wits stayed second by grinding out a 1-0 win at lowly Polokwane City and seem the only realistic challengers to Sundowns, who have a seven-point advantage over the Johannesburg outfit.

Phumlani Ntshangase snatched the 57th-minute winner at Peter Mokaba Stadium in the northern city, swivelling in a crowded goalmouth to fire the ball into the net after a corner was not cleared.