The Nigerian goalkeeper missed out on an action-packed game after cupping an injury last week and could only watch helplessly from the sidelines as his teammates surrendered the title to their bitter rivals
Defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns have retained the South Africa Premier Soccer League title after edging past Daniel Akpeyi’s Kaizer Chiefs on the final day of an incredible season.
Chiefs led the way for most of the campaign with Akpeyi, one of the team’s star performers across a league campaign extended by the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
But just two wins in the seven matches played after the restart for the Amakhosi allowed Sundowns to climb up to garner the same 53 points and share top spot heading into the season finale.
With the title going to any team with a better result on the day, Sundowns thrashed Black Leopards 3-0 at home while Kaizer Chiefs could only manage a 1-1 draw at Baroka.
It is a disappointing end for Super Eagles goalkeeper Akpeyi, who would have been favourite for the league’s best player award had his club claimed the title.
It is also a bitter pill to take for Chiefs boss, Ernst Middendorp, who had hoped to become the first German to coach South African league winners.
At the press conference after the game, the Amakhosi manager said:
“Our fate was in our hands, and we failed, so congratulations to Sundowns.
“We needed a second goal, and when Baroka equalised, the situation became very difficult. Breaking down massed defences has been a problem for us this season.”
Four-time Premier Soccer League winners, Chiefs, however, finished second on the league table and will represent South Africa at next season’s CAF Champions League.