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Bernard Parker scored twice as Kaizer Chiefs triumphed 3-1 at Moroka Swallows Saturday to take a six-point lead in the South African Premiership with four rounds left.
While Chiefs came from behind to win the Soweto derby, closest challengers Platinum Stars slipped up when held 1-1 at home by bottom-of-the-table Chippa United.
Defending champions Orlando Pirates are playing in the CAF Champions League this weekend, but will also trail arch-rivals Chiefs by six points if they win the game in hand.
The race to finish first and collect $1.1 million (830,000 euros) could be all but decided next weekend when Chiefs, seeking a first title in eight seasons, host Platinum in northern city Polokwane.
Erratic Swallows were considered potential winners over Chiefs and Georgian Giorgi Nergadze put them ahead midway through the opening half only for Parker to net either side of half-time before George Lebese added a third goal.
Platinum were hot favourites to overcome Chippa and moved ahead inside five minutes when a glancing header from Malawi star Robert Ng'ambi found the net off a free kick.
But a Chippa team now being guided by Englishman Mark Harrison -- their sixth coach this season -- refused to crumble and Andile Mbenyane levelled midway through the second half in mining town Rustenburg.
Ajax Cape Town are just three points above Chippa ahead of a derby next weekend after slumping 2-0 at home to Wits University with second half goals from Ryan Chapman and Tony Langwe securing maximum points for the 'Clever Boys'.
Draw specialists Pretoria University shared the points again as they drew 1-1 at home against Free State Stars, who took the lead through Enver Esterhuizen and Senegalese Mamadou Niang equalised after half-time.