8 May 2014
Mamelodi Sundowns secured South Africa’s 2013/14 Absa Premiership title on Tuesday evening, with one match remaining in the season, after a 3-0 win over SuperSport United at Loftus Stadium in Pretoria.
It’s the first title for “The Brazilians” since winning the league by 10 points in 2006/07.
They’re the Premier Soccer League’s (PSL) leading scorers and sport the league’s fourth-tightest defence.
Interestingly, their goals have been shared around, with Katlego Mashego their top scorer with seven. Both Cuthbert Malajila and Tsholofelo Modise netted six times, and Dove Wome, Surprise Moriri and Anthony Laffor five times.
Third PSL title for Moriri
On Tuesday, it was Surprise Moriri, Teko Modise, and Malajila that found the back of the net. For Moriri, it was a third PSL title with Sundowns, as he was previously part of the teams that won in 2006/07 and the season that preceded that.
“The boys worked hard. The guys who started the season laid the foundation for some of the guys who finished the season and that’s all about team work,” the veteran midfielder told the South African Press Association (Sapa) after the game.
“Even the younger ones responded. Our experience couldn’t have worked if the younger ones were not there to follow us, so we had to lead the way.”
Moriri also praised coach Pitso Mosimane for his role in guiding the club to the title. “Pitso has been good,” he said. “One thing about him, he’s the kind of person who understands the culture of the South Africans and everybody.
“He always makes sure that everyone is on their toes and you can see it. He makes sure that each player gives his best and finally we’re celebrating.
“Pitso is open-minded and he doesn’t hold back. If you are wrong, he comes straight to you and he’ll tell you to your face that you are wrong, whether you are a senior or a junior, and this is the kind of person that we want.”
PSL CEO Brand de Villiers congratulated Sundowns on their title, saying: “We are happy to declare Mamelodi Sundowns the winners of the 2013/14 Absa Premiership tonight.
“This has been a fantastic season for them, and I congratulate the club president Patrice Motsepe, management, coach Pitso Mosimane, captain Alje Schut and the players for a sterling season,” De Villiers said.
“Mamelodi Sundowns showed character and determination coming behind in the Absa Premiership championship race and finishing at the summit.”
Bobby Malabie, Absa Group executive for marketing and communication, added: “On behalf of Absa, my congratulations to Mamelodi Sundowns and their coach, Pitso Mosimane, for winning the 2013/14 Absa Premiership.
“This season in particular has been one of the most exhilarating, and we’ve experienced some amazing and memorable performances which is testament to the talent of our South African football teams,” Malabie said.
“Congratulations also to all the other teams who have competed tirelessly throughout the season, and for helping the game of football to prosper. The stage is set for an even more exciting 2014/15 season, which we are once again delighted to be the title sponsor of.”
PSL title winners
Since the PSL’s first season in 1996/97, the Pretoria club has claimed the title six times – more than any other team. Orlando Pirates have four titles to their name, Kaizer Chiefs and SuperSport United three titles each, and Santos and Manning Rangers one each.
While the champions were crowned on Tuesday, the final round of fixtures on Saturday still contain lots of intrigue as clubs scrap it out for a place in the top eight and to escape the relegation playoff battle.
Earlier this week, the PSL announced that the Absa Premiership Trophy will be handed to Mamelodi Sundowns after their final match at the Harry Gwala Stadium on Saturday.
For Lamontville Golden Arrows, a 1-0 loss to AmaZulu on Tuesday ensured their drop to the First Division next season.