This season PSL fans have witnessed many highs and lows, dramatic matches and memorable goals. This is the season in review, provided by Goal South Africa.
|DUBE BIRDS CAPTURE MTN8
The season-opening tournament promises one of the most lucrative prizes in South African football. The tournament pits the top 8 sides in the country against each other in a knockout format, with a two-leg semi-final round. In September 2012, Zeca Marques’ Moroka Swallows celebrated winning the MTN8.
It ended a 33 year wait for the Dube Birds, who claimed their first MTN 8 title since 1979. Marques’ team defeated AmaZulu 2-0 in the opening round of the tournament, setting up a semi-final clash against Mamelodi Sundowns. The opening leg of the semi-final ended in an enthralling 3-3 draw, but this was not the end of thrilling goal-fests for the team from Soweto.
The second leg witnessed a brace from Lerato Chabangu and another goal from Bennet Chenene within twenty minutes of the first half which meant Swallows were running away with the tie 6-3 on aggregate. However, Swallows did not dominate the rest of the game as Sundowns fought back to within a goal of their opponents, eventually succumbing to a 6-5 aggregate loss.
This set up a final berth against cup kings SuperSport United at the Orlando Stadium. An early goal from Franklin Cale could not stop a rampant Swallows side which equalised via Giorgi Nergadze and claimed the title thanks to an 86th minute winner from Bennet Chenene. Moroka Swallows had won the first piece of major silverware on offer in the 2012/2013 season.
|PHUNYA SELE SELE DELIVER TKO BLOW
Bloemfontein Celtic’s exuberant fan base Siwelele had much to cheer during their team’s journey to claiming the Telkom Knockout crown in late 2012. The tournament pits the 16 PSL sides against each other in a straight knockout format, with the winner having to defeat four other top-flight sides in order to claim the R4.25 million prize. Celtic defeated Chippa United 2-1 in the round of 16, with Dominic Isaacs scoring an 80th minute winner.
The quarter-final against Orlando Pirates ended as a cup classic as the Buccaneers relinquished a two goal lead in the dying embers of the tie, with Ruzaigh Gamildien and Joel Mogorosi combining to give Phunya Sele Sele a chance to snatch an unlikely victory. A penalty shootout had to determine the winner and Celtic keeper Patrick Tignyemb provided the necessary heroics between the posts to propel his side into the semi-final stage.
The drama was not over for Celtic fans, as they faced a local derby against Free State Stars. The match evolved into yet another classic, Phunya Sele Sele eventually winning 3-2 after extra-time with Joel Mogorosi netting the vital winner to secure a berth into the final against Mamelodi Sundowns. Backed by their passionate fans, Clint Larsen’s side defied their underdog tag and won 1-0 in the final, with Mogorosi providing yet another moment of magic. It was the side’s first Knockout Cup triumph.
|AJAX CAPE TOWN SURVIVE RELEGATION BATTLE
Mamelodi Sundowns were the first unlikely relegation candidates in the 2012/2013 season, after their worst start to a PSL campaign in their illustrious history. The introduction of Pitso Mosimane saved the club from relegation fears, transferring the battle over to two Cape clubs in the form of Chippa United and Ajax Cape Town.
The Urban Warriors season went from bad to worse thanks to problems behind the scenes and consistent poor performances on the pitch. Eventually the recall of former coach Muhsin Ertrugral proved to be the catalyst for a late season scramble over the line.
Chippa United had to resort to overhauling their squad and trying out myriad coaches before Mark Harrison turned his team of misfits into a cohesive unit. Chippa United ended the season in the promotion/relegation playoff place and Black Leopards will have to try and reclaim their PSL status in the National First Division in the coming campaign.
|CHIEFS "RECLAIM THE GLORY"
The team from Naturena shook off a late season slump in order to win their first PSL title in eight years. A league campaign which was dominated by surprise performances from sides like Platinum Stars and Pretoria University, ended in favour of AmaKhosi with Stuart Baxter claiming a South African piece of silverware in his first season back in the country.
Top-scorers Lehlonoholo Majoro and Bernard Parker helped the side conquer many an opponent, but Chiefs engine room was the main reason behind their league triumph. William Katsande and Reneilwe Letsholonyane were eternal forces in the midfield, while Erick Mathoho and Tefu Mashaimaite combined effectively at the back.
Despite their poor form at the end of the season Chiefs hung on and eventually won the league by a mere point, with challengers Platinum Stars coming within touching distance of an unlikely PSL crown.
|THE DOUBLE BECOMES A REALITY
On Saturday afternoon, Kaizer Chiefs completed the 2012/2013 season by winning the Nedbank Cup with a spectacular strike from Bernard Parker securing the 1-0 triumph for AmaKhosi. Chiefs saw off a potential hurdle in the form of Bidvest Wits in the round of 32, with a 3-0 win away from home.
The result of round which will most likely never be forgotten was Maluti FET College’s dramatic 3-1 win over Orlando Pirates. Unlike their Soweto rivals, Chiefs overcame underdogs Polokwane City 2-0 in the round of 16. Next up came a tough test against Bloemfontein Celtic in the Free State Stadium, which Chiefs passed with a 1-0 win.
Their scrappy 2-1 win against surprise semi-finalists United FC set up a final berth against defending champions SuperSport United. The final was settled by Parker’s goal in extra-time, a fitting end to a season dominated by the black and gold-clad side from Soweto.