Mark Gleeson

Sundowns v Ajax CT a thriller

2011-04-11 07:03
Sport24 columnist Mark Gleeson (File)
Mark Gleeson

For game of the season, you need look no further than the drama of Wednesday at the Super Stadium in Atteridgeville.

Mamelodi Sundowns and Ajax Cape Town served up a feast of foibles, attack, cracking goals and silly errors, enhanced by some controversial refereeing and poor offside calls. In short, a composite thriller.

It was the kind of high drama that we await each match round with anticipation but are rarely served. But when it does come, it wets the appetite for more.

This season has served up some fine fare already with the Ajax-Kaizer Chiefs game at Cape Town’s World Cup stadium a veritable thriller although just a single goal settled it.

At the end of season Premier Soccer League awards, there is no prize for Match of the Season but authorities and sponsors might want to consider a trophy for the two clubs to share to share.

The Player of the Season award is the most coveted, and lucrative, and the jury will begin deliberating on this campaign’s winner in the next weeks.

Presumably he will come from the club who win the championship, allowing for some speculation over the next weeks before the league title is finally settled.

Leaders Orlando Pirates have had several consistent performers this season in Happy Jele and Rooi Mahamutsa in defence while Andile Jali was brilliant in the first half of the season but has gone off the boil, usurped in significance in recent months by his midfield partner Oupa Manyisa. There should also be a mention too for Tlou Segolela.

Knowledge Musona was the best player of the first five months of this campaign but the Chiefs’ striker has gone missing since New Year. His team-mate Valery Nahayo is my pick as the best defender this season.

Sundowns’ pivot has again been Esrom Nyandoro and Katlego Mphela, but neither have done enough individually to warrant being considered for the best player of the season.

Mphela is likely to win the top goalscorer award for a second successive season, thereby becoming the first player to do so in more than 25 years.

It leaves Thulani Serero of Ajax Cape Town as the hot favourite with colleagues Clayton Daniels, George Maluleke and Khama Billiat not far behind. Serero has really come of age this season and it is hard to see Ajax holding onto him past the end of this campaign.

He has played a major part in all the key games of the season and his goal against Sundowns on Wednesday was rightly described as “world class” by his coach.

I am not on any judging panel so this is my five cents’ worth … but I challenge anyone to name me a better candidate for the Player of the Season award than Serero.

Mark Gleeson is a respected television 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.

Read more on:    psl  |  thulani serero  |  katlego mphela
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