No ‘Invincibles’ for Sundowns, Pirates claim second & Bay into the playoffs

football25 May 2024 17:45| © Backpage TXT

The 2023-24 DStv Premiership came to a close on Saturday afternoon, with the headline result seeing Cape Town City defeat champions Mamelodi Sundowns to deny the latter a first-ever unbeaten league season.

The Citizens won 1-0 at Loftus Versfeld thanks to a second-half strike from Jaedin Rhodes, ending the Brazilians’ 53-game unbeaten run in the Premiership and denying them ‘Invincibles’ status for the season.

It was nonetheless a campaign of incredible dominance for Rhulani Mokwena’s team, who finished a whopping 23 points clear at the top of the log and posted a record 73 points (for a 30-game season).

Orlando Pirates secured second place ahead of Stellenbosch FC and thus qualified for next season’s CAF Champions League.

The Buccaneers drew 1-1 at home with SuperSport United (goals from Tshegofatso Mabasa and Gape Moralo respectively), which was enough to leapfrog Stellies thanks to their 2-1 loss at Richards Bay.

The Natal Rich Boyz raced into a two-goal lead thanks to strikes from Ntsako Makhubela and Yanela Mbuthuma inside the first 17 minutes.

Stellenbosch pulled a goal back Iqraam Rayners, but ultimately succumbed to defeat and lost second place to Pirates on goal difference.

Those results also decided the Golden Boot for the league, with Mabasa finishing on 15 goals to just edge out Rayners (14) for the prize, while Bay will have to play in the relegation playoffs despite the win, as Royal AM – the team they were hoping to overhaul – managed a 2-1 win away to Moroka Swallows thanks to goals from Levy Mashiane and Sabelo Sithole.

Elsewhere, Kaizer Chiefs’ miserable season came to a predictable conclusion, as they suffered a 2-0 loss away to already-relegated Cape Town Spurs.

Combined with victories for Polokwane City (who beat TS Galaxy 1-0 thanks to an Oswin Appollis strike to finish eighth) and Golden Arrows (who won the Durban Derby against AmaZulu 3-1, with goals from Ryan Moon, Siyanda Mthanti and Olwethu Ncube to finish ninth), the Amakhosi not only dropped out of the top half of the table (therefore ruling them out of next season’s MTN8), but finished in 10th place.

This is the Amakhosi’s worst-ever league position, eclipsing the ninth-place finishes they recorded in 2006-07 and 2018-19.

In addition, Sekhukhune United finished in a fine fourth place thanks to their 1-0 away win over Chippa United, secured by a second-half goal from Asekho Tiwani.

The top-flight season will draw to a full close with the Nedbank Cup final between Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates at the Mbombela Stadium next Saturday, 1 June.


Saturday 25 May

AmaZulu FC 1-3 Golden Arrows

Mamelodi Sundowns 0-1 Cape Town City

Moroka Swallows 1-2 Royal AM

Richards Bay 2-1 Stellenbosch FC

Cape Town Spurs 2-0 Kaizer Chiefs

Orlando Pirates 1-1 SuperSport United

Chippa United 0-1 Sekhukhune United

Polokwane City 1-0 TS Galaxy