Johannesburg – Perennial strugglers Chippa United shocked Orlando Pirates 1-0 on Sunday in a South African Premiership third-round match, condemning new Spanish coach Jose Riveiro to his first loss.
Tanzanian Abdi Banda netted four minutes from time for the Gqeberha-based club, rising unchallenged to powerfully nod a corner past Ghana goalkeeper Richard Ofori.
The goal stunned Pirates supporters, who had watched the Buccaneers dominate the match only to be let down by poor finishing, a problem that has affected the club for many seasons.
Success was particularly sweet for Chippa boss Daine Klate, who debuted as a Premiership coach only last weekend, as is a former Pirates winger.
The arrival of Riveiro in South Africa after eight seasons coaching in Finland, mainly as an assistant, sparked a social media storm, with many calling him a “plumber”.
In South African football, a “plumber” is a foreign coach considered unqualified to handle a Premiership club.
Riveiro laughed off the accusation, saying “I have been involved in football for many years and my results at Pirates will show whether I am a football coach or a ‘plumber’.”
Pirates lie eighth, two places above Chippa in the table, having won at home against Swallows and a drawn away to Stellenbosch.
Reports say Pirates, along with Mamelodi Sundowns and Kaizer Chiefs, will take part in the first edition of the Africa Super League, scheduled to start in August 2023.
Sundowns hammered Chiefs 4-0 on Saturday before a sell-out 50,000 crowd in Pretoria with a goal from new Ethiopian forward Abubeker Nassir completing the rout.
Blunders by Chiefs centre-back Siyabonga Ngezana contributed to early goals from Uruguayan Gaston Sirino and Namibian Peter Shalulile for the record 12-time champions.
Shalulile, voted the top Premiership player and winner of the Golden Boot last season, scored again after half-time.
Seeking a sixth straight title, Sundowns stand fourth, one point below pacesetters Richards Bay, TS Galaxy and AmaZulu.
Promoted Richards Bay from an eastern coastal town are competing in the top flight for the first time.