Football: Tshabalala torments Celtic as Chiefs extend lead

Siphiwe Tshabalala created the first goal and scored the second as Kaizer Chiefs won 3-0 at Bloemfontein Celtic on Sunday to take a seven-point lead in the South African Premiership.

Tshabalala, a diminutive wide midfielder with flowing dreadlocks who scored the opening goal of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, evaded several tackles to set up Zimbabwean Kingston Nkhatha for the opener on 15 minutes.

And the owner of a fish-and-chip chain connected superbly with a free kick struck across the edge of the penalty area to double the lead with 64 minutes gone before a near-capacity 35,500 Bloemfontein crowd.

Chiefs rubbed salt into Celtic wounds in the final minute of stoppage time when substitute Josta Dladla stole in unmarked at the far post to side-foot a Lehlohonolo Majoro cross past Cameroonian goalkeeper Patrick Tingyemb.

It was the heaviest home defeat suffered by Celtic since 2009 and leaves coach Clinton Larsen with considerable repair work before the clubs meet again at the venue on April 13 in a South African FA Cup quarter-final.

Chiefs have 50 points with seven matches to play and it is difficult to imagine them not regaining the title after a seven-season hiatus as nearest challengers Orlando Pirates are seven points behind.

The advantage could be even bigger by Wednesday night as Chiefs host limited mid-table outfit Maritzburg United while goal-shy Pirates are away to resurgent AmaZulu.

Bottom side Chippa United received another blow with a 2-0 loss at Maritzburg, whose goals came late in the second half from Zimbabweans Terrence Mandaza and Cuthbert Malajila.

Chippa, a Cape Town club who were promoted this season and fired four coaches before putting former Zimbabwe star Wilfred Mugeyi in charge, have collected a meagre 16 points from 22 matches.