Tuesday, 6 May 2014

The job is done: Pitso Mosimane and Mamelodi Sundowns romp to the PSL title with a game to spare

Celebration time: Sundowns fans invade Loftus last night
IT'S done. And with plenty of Pitso panache.

For 45 minutes last night, Mamelodi Sundowns' championship charge looked like being a drab funeral march.

In the end, with coach Pitso Mosimane telling his men "nobody can stop us scoring goals" it had turned in to a rousing 3-0 triumph and another wwwwwwwwwwin in a triumphant streak nobody else could match.

After a post-match pitch invasion, coach Mosimane emerged to say: "It's amazing. I came here to help Masandawana avoid relegation... and now we are champions."

After a flat first half, we didn't have to wait long for the first Surprise - yes, that man Moriri getting the opener against hapless SuperSport United to begin the landslide in front of a huge crowd, enjoying free entrance to Loftus Versfeld for wearing KaboYellow.

Then came the fairy-tale moment. Teko Modise, the man who just missed out on the trebles at SuperSport United and Orlando Pirates, produced a visionary 35-yard effort to catch Ronwen Williams off his line. A cracking way to break the title jinx and install himself as firm favourite for the Player of the Season accolades after a third successive Man of the Match performance.

Afterwards Modise said: "We said at half-time we had to play another way. I'm glad to repay Pitso's faith in me. I've always been involved with him. He's very emotional. He's never won the PSL either. I lost for words... I'm just so happy."

Pitso Mosimane, now the first black South African coach to win the PSL, did a Jose Mourinho style run up the touchline in response to Teko's magic strike. The Tshwane fans finally had something to shout about. And all was well in a PSL world which had seen just one first-half goal in SEVEN GAMES.

At 2-0, it was all over. But Cuthbert Malajila capped it all with a third and despite Kaizer Chiefs beating AmaTuks 1-0 - a Killer Mphela penalty decided it - the seven-year wait for a Masandawana title was DONE.

Mosimane added: "Patrice Motsepe called me when we had drawn two games and we were 11 points behind Chiefs. He said I must relax. But I always said we would win this. Now I must call Roger de Sa and ask him how he got to the African Champions League final."

The AmaKhosi cannot begrudge Sundowns this title. Stuart Baxter's men had it all wrapped up amid a nine-match unbeaten run barely two months ago but they tailed off badly, just as they did last season when they hung on to win it from Platinum Stars.

Elsewhere, amid that second-half goal-rush, Golden Arrows finally fell through the relegation trap-door when they lost 1-0 at KwaZulu Natal rivals AmaZulu and Gavin Hunt's Bidvest Wits could only manage a goalless draw.

With their kick-off delayed 15 minutes to allow their yellow-clad fans free entrance, Sundowns finished their title triumph in glorious isolation.

Mind the gap: How it looked
Not since Screamer Tshabalala did it with Sundowns in the 1980s has the South African championship been won by an African coach. Pitso has talked of sweating blood, eating grass and shedding tears this season, and I for one loved every minute.

He has his critics after a difficult spell in charge of the national team but in truth his results with Bafana Bafana easily match incumbent Gordon Igesund's efforts.

For Mosimane and his billionaire owner Patrice Motsepe, the job is done. Dutch legend Johan Neeskens and a host of foreigners just couldn't get Chloorkop together. Pitso did. In style, with a game to play he has already broken the points record for a 30-game season.

A crowd invasion delayed the post-match interviews but who cane blame the long-suffering Tshwane fans after three years of Soweto dominance?

With 64 points already on the board, Pitso grinned: "Our last game against Maritzburg United on Saturday will be just another league game. Training like normal. We want to add to that record!"

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2002-2003: Orlando Pirates 61, Supersport United 55

2003-2004: Kaizer Chiefs 63 (highest), Ajax Cape Town 57

2004-2005: Kaizer Chiefs 62, Orlando Pirates 60

2005-2006: Mamelodi Sundowns 57, Orlando Pirates 54

2006-2007: Mamelodi Sundowns 61, Silver Stars 51

2007-2008: SuperSport United 54 (lowest), Ajax Cape Town 52

2008-2009: SuperSport United 55, Orlando Pirates 55

2009-2010: SuperSport United 57, Mamelodi Sundowns 56

2010-2011: Orlando Pirates 60, Ajax Cape Town 60

2011-2012: Orlando Pirates 58, Moroka Swallows 56

2012-2013: Kaizer Chiefs 57, Platinum Stars 56

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