Mamelodi Sundowns went top of the South African Premiership Wednesday after a laboured 3-2 home victory over Cape Town City in a match they should have won convincingly.
Having opened a two-goal lead two minutes from the end of regular time, the wasteful eight-time league champions almost threw away two points in stoppage time.
Substitute Kermit Erasmus scored a superb long-range goal on 92 minutes for Cape Town, who were awarded a free-kick just outside the box soon after.
Riyaad Norodien, whose 48th-minute penalty brought the clubs level, took the kick and it was deflected for a corner that never happened as the referee blew for full-time.
“It was an enjoyable match to watch,” said Sundowns coach and former South Africa striker Pitso Mosimane, “but we wasted a lot of scoring chances.
“Now that we are top of the table, the pressure and stress intensifies. We must forget about the standings and concentrate on winning each match.”
Lebohang Maboe struck midway through the opening half at Loftus Versfeld stadium in Pretoria to give his side a 1-0 lead at the break.
After Norodien levelled, Liberian Anthony Laffor and Phakamani Mahlambi netted for the home team amid many missed chances by the hosts.
Then came the stoppage-time drama as fourth-place City nearly snatched a draw they did not deserve having been inferior for most of the match.
Sundowns have 39 points and a game in hand over Bidvest Wits (38), Orlando Pirates (36), Cape Town City (33) and SuperSport United (32) with nine rounds remaining.
City coach Benni McCarthy conceded that Sundowns were the better team, partly because several of his side “were not up for the fight.
“When you face a top side like Sundowns you need 11 warriors — not seven or eight. The team have given their all lately so I guess some players were due an off-day.
“I am envious of the support Sundowns enjoy. A team can only be inspired playing in front of such wonderful fans.”