Johannesburg - An 86th minute goal from Brent Carelse dealt Orlando Pirates' title defence a massive blow as they lost 1-0 to Chippa United in their Absa Premiership match at Orlando Stadium on Tuesday evening.
A Mkhanyiseli Siwahla free-kick found Carelse in the area, who nudged the ball home for Chippa to take all three points from the clash.
The win could not have come at a better time for Chippa, as they rise off the bottom of the table to 14th on 24 points.
They are a point ahead of Black Leopards and level with Ajax Cape Town but ahead on goal difference. Ajax play on Wednesday against table-topping Kaizer Chiefs.
Pirates' chances of winning the league are all but mathematical as they remain on 49 points, seven behind Chiefs with three games remaining in the season.
In the fifth minute, Chippa turned a probing ball into the Pirates area finding Benjani Mwaruwari open, but the player's shot was rushed and Senzo Meyiwa had an easy gather in goal.
Four minutes later, a Pirates free-kick from Dane Klaite was taken in a dangerous position just outside the box, but he could not keep the attempt down as it sailed into the crowd.
After a passage of play where Pirates looked threatening, the shot fell to Khethowakhe Masuku but his strike was tame and dribbled out for a goal kick in the 11th minute.
Patrick Phungwayo made a surging run towards the box just after the quarter-hour mark, leaving Chippa defenders in his wake, but just as he was about to shoot in the box a well-timed block came in from a covering player.
On the 20-minute mark, Asavela Mbekile was allowed to run unhindered into the Pirates area before unleashing a probing low cross, but there was no Chippa player able to meet the ball.
Pirates threatened again in the 25th minute, but made hard work of producing a shot.
Sifiso Myeni then snapped up a loose ball on the edge of the area, and fired a rocket of a shot at Tashriqu Goldman in the Chippa goal, but the ball rose centimetres over the crossbar.
Chippa replied a minute later when Mxolisi Ntshingila went for glory with a long range shot, which needed the attention of Meyiwa but the shot swerved wide.
Meyiwa was adjudged to have taken the ball out the box before he made a clearance in the 37th minute, even though replays suggested he was still in his area.
Tshepo Tomanyane stepped to the free-kick from less than a metre outside the Pirates box but fired it just over the target.
Two minutes after the break, Masuku went on a powerful diagonal run into the Chippa area, but his shot from close range was lifted over goal.
Collins Mbesuma had a close range shot saved by Goldman with just over 20 minutes remaining, as Pirates began their desperate search for a breakthrough.
Four minutes before time, Mkhanyiseli Siwahla took the free kick which Carelse met and he scored the winner.