SOCCER NEWS - The goalkeepers played key roles as fourth-place Cape Town City snatched a 1-0 win at Kaizer Chiefs Wednesday to boost their South African Premiership title hopes.
Netherlands-born City shot-stopper Peter Leeuwenburgh made a string of superb saves to keep his team in the match under a sustained Chiefs onslaught at Soccer City stadium in Soweto.
His performance earned him the man-of-the-match award and coach Benni McCarthy knelt in front of the giant Dutch goalkeeper at the final whistle to show his appreciation.
But error-prone Namibia-born Chiefs goalkeeper Virgil Vries gifted the visitors maximum points with a howler 11 minutes from time when he failed to hold a lofted free-kick.
When the ball slipped behind Vries, Mozambican defender Edmilson Dove poked the ball over the line for the only goal of a match dominated by wasteful fifth-place Chiefs.
It was the third time since the season resumed early January that a Vries blunder has cost his team dearly in the Premiership and the CAF Confederation Cup.
Cape Town trail leaders Bidvest Wits by four points with 12 rounds remaining in the richest African football league with 30 million rand (about $2.25 mn/1.95 mn euro) in prize money.
Former Blackburn Rovers and West Ham United striker McCarthy acknowledged that City pulled off a "smash-and-grab" victory and that "we had to win ugly".
"Our aim is always to play attractive football that will draw the crowds, but we had none of that tonight. We were flat in the first half and a little better after a half-time talk."
McCarthy was angered by what he called the "celebrations" of Chiefs' bench when City midfielder Zukile Kewuti was red-carded for a dangerous tackle seven minutes from time.
Chiefs' German coach Ernst Middendorp - a mid-season appointment in place of sacked Italian Giovanni Solinas - said he found it hard to explain how his team managed to lose.
"I cannot find words right now to express my feelings," he said. "Even a draw would have been a disappointing result for us. Instead, we got nothing.
"We had so many possibilities to score and the result is absolutely disappointing. Losing this match is nothing short of unbelievable."