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Leagues: South African Premiership

South African Modiba hits stunning goal after copying Barca’s Alba

Johannesburg (AFP) – Mamelodi Sundowns Aubrey Modiba took a leaf from the playbook of Barcelona star Jordi Alba on Sunday and scored a stunning goal in a 1-1 South African Premiership draw at Kaizer Chiefs.

Just as Alba did in a La Liga victory at Real Betis 24 hours earlier, Modiba connected with a deep cross and volleyed the ball into the net.

“I replayed the Alba goal many times and promised that I would score a similar goal, but did not expect it to happen so soon,” said the midfielder.

It was the third consecutive match in which former international Modiba has scored — after failing to find the net even once during Sundowns’ first 46 matches of the season in all competitions. 

Modiba netted on 49 minutes to give league winners Sundowns a lead they surrendered 14 minutes from time when Phathutshedzo Nange levelled.

Fourth-placed Chiefs later had a chance to collect maximum points, but goalkeeper Reyaad Pieterse saved both a penalty and the follow-up header from Keagan Dolly.

A mid-2021 signing from French Ligue 1 club Montpellier, Dolly is reportedly the highest paid Premiership star with a monthly salary of 1.45 million rand ($90,500/86,000 euros).

While Sundowns are playing for pride with a 14-point lead and two matchdays remaining, the result was a blow to Chiefs as they seek some consolation from a seventh straight trophy-less season.

Chiefs hope to finish runners-up and join Sundowns in the 2022-2023 CAF Champions League, but the odds on them succeeding lengthened after the draw.

If second-placed Cape Town City win at home to AmaZulu this Saturday, Chiefs will be out of the running, even if they win their last two fixtures, away to Sekhukhune United and at home to Swallows.

Cape Town stretched an unbeaten Premiership run under coach and former South Africa midfielder Eric Tinkler to 12 matches with a 2-0 home win over relegation-threatened TS Galaxy.

City were the only winners in a seven-match weekend schedule with added-time goals depriving last-placed Baroka of a victory at Chippa United and saving second-last Swallows from defeat at SuperSport United.

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