The 2016/2017 Premier Soccer League (PSL) season is in its final stretch and Goal looks at the clubs remaining in the title race.
The title race promises to go down to the wire and one only needs to take a quick glance at the PSL table to notice how tight the competition is amongst the top three. While Bidvest Wits’ victory on Monday evening, propelled them to the summit of the PSL table. There is only a point difference between Wits and Mamelodi Sundowns in second, and two points difference between the Braamfontein-based outfit and Cape Town City in third.
Now with all the PSL teams left with five game or less in their respective campaigns, the Students and Masandawana could be considered as favourites. Although, the Citizens are by no means out of the contest, the Gauteng-based pair still have one game in hand over City.
City’s recent defeat to Maritzburg United could not have come at a worse time as it has put them on the backfoot. It should also be noted, whether the PSL new boys can recover from their defeat, as the loss seemed to have deflated their confidence. However, it’s truly been a rollercoaster ride for Eric Tinkler’s men and with the support of every neutral football fan in the country, they cannot be underestimated.
Meanwhile, Gavin Hunt’s men will be brimming with confidence. The Clever Boys’ victory over Sundowns proved that perhaps this may just be their year. In recent seasons, Wits had been on the fringes of the title race as they looked to compete, but had fallen at the final hurdle. But this season may just see Wits move out from the shadow of their more illustrious Johannesburg rivals.
However, despite Sundowns’ recent loss no one can truly rule them out of contention. The Tshwane giants possess a winning acumen and the longer the title remains up for the grabs, the more it would favour the defending champions.
A notable feature of Sundowns’ campaign, has been their professionalism. Pitso Mosimane’s men have gone about their business unfazed by the congested schedule, and even when they were out of the title race during their slump, they did not press the panic button and continued to fight on.
Kaizer Chiefs are also in with an outside bet for the league title. Not much has been said about Chiefs’ chances, since their draw against SuperSport United. But mathematically the Glamour Boys are not out of the race, just yet. Amakhosi are currently five points adrift of the log leaders, but with their title run-in culminating in a fierce encounter on the final day of the season, against Wits, the Soweto giants may just surprise a few.
Nonetheless, while the end to the PSL title race is in sight, with every match day that passes more questions have arisen than answers. Whether, City, Wits, Sundowns or even Chiefs are crowned champions, on May 27, that remains uncertain. But the only certainty this season has been that South African football fans have been treated to an exciting season and who’s to bet against one final twist occurring in the title race, in the coming weeks.