Kaizer Chiefs captain Brandon Petersen erred twice in an otherwise superb display and Mamelodi Sundowns took advantage to win a high-profile South African Premiership clash 2-1 on Wednesday.
The goalkeeper passed carelessly to new signing Edson Castillo and the Venezuelan lost possession, which led to Brazilian Lucas Ribeiro scoring on 21 minutes near Pretoria.
After Ashley du Preez equalised with six minutes remaining, Petersen gifted Sundowns maximum points when he allowed a tame Neo Maema shot to go between his raising gloves and into the net.
Title-holders Sundowns should have secured victory long before snatching the 90th-minute winner before a sell-out 24,000 public holiday crowd.
It was tough on Petersen, whose saves, often with outstretched legs after half-time, kept alive Chiefs’ hopes of avoiding defeat in the second-round league match.
“We were the better team by far, but if you do not take your chances you end up having to snatch victory at the death,” said Sundowns coach Rulani Mokwena.
“My boys dominated the match only to waste chance after chance to build a commanding lead. We should have wrapped up the three points before Chiefs levelled.
“Thapelo Maseko impressed on the left wing for us and won the match of the match award, but I think the honour should have gone to Brandon Petersen for making so many good saves.”
Scoring in the first rounds of the season marked a dream start for Ribeiro, who joined Sundowns from Belgian outfit SK Beveren during the close season.
The 24-year-old possesses a clinical touch in the penalty area which many South African players lack in a league where clearcut scoring chances are squandered with alarming regularity.
While Sundowns are seeking a seventh straight league title, Chiefs have gone eight seasons without a trophy after previously averaging more than one each year since being formed in 1970.
On the evidence of the loss to Sundowns, with the Du Preez equaliser their only goal attempt on target, Chiefs could struggle to end the silverware drought this season.
Sundowns are already in the familiar position of first place, leading on goal difference from Cape Town City, who won 1-0 away to Moroka Swallows in Soweto through a Taahir Goedeman goal.
AmaZulu, coached by former Real Madrid assistant Pablo Franco, held SuperSport United 0-0 in Durban after playing 50 minutes a man short because Thembela Sikhakhane was sent off.