COMMENT: A ninth PSL title, but perhaps the most memorable for Sundowns

Masandawana clinched another PSL title, but this one will certainly be up there with the best. Here is how the Brazilians won the league

A record-extending ninth Premier Soccer League (PSL) title for Mamelodi Sundowns and a personal fourth for head coach Pitso Mosimane, the Tshwane giants have clearly found a winning formula.

On Saturday, Sundowns overcame Free State Stars 1-0, and while many perhaps would have cracked under pressure, a steely-eyed performance saw the Brazilians retain the crown they won this time last season.

While Mosimane and Sundowns have done the walk up the podium before, this one was certainly different.

Mamelodi Sundowns champions, May 2019

What made this season so special?

Even Mosimane, who said that he would not celebrate due to the ups and downs his team had endured this season, could not hide his joy, and that smile that we have all grown accustomed to seeing, was for all to see at the final whistle.

With games having come in thick and fast, and a boardroom battle that seemed to have no end, Sundowns did what they do best.

There was also no room for excuses despite Orlando Pirates pushing them all the way, and the 54-year-old mentor would have instilled that in his players.

Sundowns also recently bowed out of the Caf Champions League, and although failure to win a trophy this season would have been accepted by the fans considering what Mosimane has achieved over the years, it would certainly have left a blot on the former Bafana Bafana mentor's impressive stint at the club.

Where was the title won?

Harris Tchilimbou, Free State Stars & Hlompho Kekana, Sundowns, May 2019

Sundowns’ win undoubtedly should be hailed. It is never easy to lose two of your top players in Percy Tau and Khama Billiat and continue to triumph.

This was down to Mosimane's recruitment as he brought the best out of Lebohang Maboe, Themba Zwane, Gaston Sirino, and Rivaldo Coetzee among others. 

Granted that not all Mosimane’s new recruits have played their part, and there will be serious questions to answer regarding some, but this season was most definitely all about team effort.

At times, many wondered if Masandawana had the legs to take them over the line as the congested schedule seemed to take a lot out of Sundowns players, but game management and the ability to grind out results also played its part.

Just three defeats all season and arguably, the defining factor was Sundowns winning 16 games, one more than Pirates, who finished as runners-up.

Sundowns' unbeaten run which eventually ended after 15 games, perfectly set the scene for the season, and while they did not move out of first gear until later in the season, their form ensured that they remained in contention.    

Consistency is key, but where to from here?

PSL Winners graphic

Meanwhile, questions will be asked now as what more Sundowns can still achieve in the game.

Defending a PSL title is no mean feat and proves that they are unmatched on the domestic scene.

Sundowns have also reaped the benefits of continental football which has allowed them to mix it with the best and learn some valuable lessons.

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Nonetheless, Mosimane will be eyeing another star above the club's badge, especially after the club came within a whisker of the final this year.

But in order to do this, Mosimane may need to dig deeper into his own pockets in order to refresh the squad even though there are players who might feel they have a chance to play regularly next season.

For now, though, it’s celebration time, and when the dust settles, you can bet your last Cent that Mosimane and his technical team – who deserve a special mention for the team’s success – will be back at work, plotting and planning for the new season and taking aim at more trophies.