The overwhelming question
South African football followers have wanted answered in the last weeks is
“Will Kaizer Chiefs hold on and win the title?”
There is talk of little else.
Latest PSL standings
The mathematics suggests while the possibility is strong, the battle for the
Premier Soccer League championship has the potential to provide a
Hollywood-style finish with enough twists, turns and sub-plots to keep the
audience riveted through to mid-May.
In other words, the answer is, “maybe, probably, but we’ll all need to have our
seatbelts fastened before we get there”.
After Wednesday’s win in the rain over a washed-out Moroka Swallows, a much
relieved Kaizer Chiefs have advanced to 54 points, which is the exact total
that SuperSport United needed in 2008 when they won the first of three
With six games left Chiefs will surely far surpass that. They have another 18
points on offer and a chance to finish with 72, which will be a record tally
for the league since it was cut from 18 to 16 teams and the games played
reduced from 34 to 30 some 13 seasons ago now.
Last season Sundowns strode imperiously to a new mark with 65 points and their
coach Pitso Mosimane has spoken in recent weeks of his belief that his side
will surpass that figure this time round. It is a bold prediction that might
have as much to do with a strong confidence in his team as it does his attempts
to inflict more psychological pressure on Chiefs. But the way Sundowns are
playing means it is an entirely viable assumption. With seven games to go,
Sundowns can finish with a maximum of 67.
The eight-point gap between Chiefs and Sundowns is significant although there
is a game in hand for the latter.
Key for Chiefs will be their next three games against AmaZulu (home),
University of Pretoria (away) and Polokwane City (home), offering them have a
chance to move to the cusp of taking the title.
But after that trio of must-win games, they play Sundowns and Wits before
ending away at Chippa United.
If Chiefs bank three successive wins in their next three games, they will
temper any chance that their meeting with Sundowns on April 29 becomes an
effective championship decider. But any slip-ups and door remains open for
As much as Sundowns continue to win – victory over Chippa United on Wednesday
was their seventh victory in their last eight league outings – their hopes
remain reliant on Chiefs’ dropping points. But they too have a few banana skins
in their path – like bogey teams Platinum Stars, who they must still play
twice, and SuperSport United.
Mark Gleeson is a world-renowned soccer commentator and Editorial Director of Mzanzi Football.
Disclaimer: Sport24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse
views. The views of columnists published on Sport24 are therefore their
own and do not necessarily represent the views of Sport24.