Chippa United all but put an end to Kaizer Chiefs‘ title campaign, as they triumphed 3-0 in an Absa Premiership match played at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg on Saturday afternoon.

Coming off the back of a 91st-minute only-goal-of-the-match against Free State Stars in Bethlehem in mid-week, Chiefs would have fancied their chances of keeping it in the title race in hot pursuit of log-leaders Mamelodi Sundowns and second-placed arch-rivals Orlando Pirates.

However, that plan suffered a major setback in the 25th minute when Chippa’ striker Thabo Rakhale managed to escape from the defensive marking of home team centre back Eric Mathoho, before firing a low shot in at the near post, past Chiefs No 1 Itumuleng Khune.

Try as they might, the Amakosi attack lacked the confident finishing touches of days gone by, and the three points were sealed in the 78th minute.

With Chiefs having made all three of their substitutions, Mathoho picked up an injury and spent much time receiving medical attention. This allowed midfielder Mxolisi Macuphu to take advantage of a ball played into vacant space near the penalty spot, to double the lead.

Mathoho eventually succumbed to injury leaving the Soweto giants to finish the game with 10 players on the park, and Chippa substitute Edward Manqele latched on to a cross from the left to finish off the scoring in second-half injury time.

Chiefs best chance of the match came in the 79th minute when Hendrick Ekstein set up second-half substitute Dumisani Zuma, whose diving header just went wide of the target.

Chiefs remain on 39 points from 26 games and with only four league fixtures left, find themselves seven points behind Sundowns, and also having played two matches more.

The Amakhosi’s next league encounter will be a home fixture against bottom-of-the-log Platinum Stars next Saturday.

The win over Chiefs was Chippa’s second triumph since Vladimir Heric took over from Tebogo Moloi as coach, and the Port Elizabeth-based side now move into the Top 8 on the league table with 33 points from 26 games. Their next league fixture will be a home match against relegation-threatened Ajax Cape Town next Sunday.