Kaizer Chiefs wrap up 2013 PSL title

16 May 2013

Kaizer Chiefs wrapped up the 2012/13 Premier Soccer League (PSL) title with a game to go when they played to a 1-1 draw with SuperSport United at Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane on Wednesday. With a four-point lead, they cannot be caught.

The title was Chiefs’ first since the 2004/05 season and they matched that season’s record of losing only two matches, although one game must still be played on Saturday, the PSL’s final weekend.

They will be presented with the PSL trophy at the last game against the University of Pretoria at Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit.

Top flight titles

Chiefs have won South Africa’s PSL three times since it came into being in 1996/97. They were founded in 1970 and won their first South African top flight title in 1974. They have since achieved that feat 11 times in all.

The league title marked a successful return to South African football for manager Stuart Baxter, Bafana Bafana’s coach in 2004 and 2005, who took over the reins from Vladimir Vermezovic. Baxter is the first England-born coach to lead a team to the PSL title.

Ironically, during Baxter’s time in charge of the national team, Chiefs won the PSL in both seasons under Ted Dumitru.

Baxter’s influence

Kaizer Chiefs’ great Doctor Khumalo told the club’s website that the objective heading into the season was to bring back the Amakhosi’s glory days. He also praised the role played by Baxter, saying: “The coach brought new ideas and made the players believe in themselves. He also made the players realise the importance of donning the gold and black.”

The Amakhosi had all but wrapped up the title this past weekend, even though they had not been in action, after their closest rivals, Platinum Stars and Orlando Pirates, suffered defeats. Golden Arrows beat Stars 2-1, while a late goal from Mamelodi Sundowns saw Pirates lose 1-0.

The Sea Robbers were back to winning ways on Wednesday, crushing bottom club Black Leopards 4-1, but it was too little too late as they came up short of a third title in succession.

Entertaining and beautiful football

“Kaizer Chiefs have played entertaining and beautiful football this season and this victory is well deserved. The fact that Chiefs led the race from day one is commendable and indicative of the work they have done this season,” the PSL’s Acting CEO, Cambridge Mokanyane, said.

“I would also like to make special mention of Platinum Stars and Orlando Pirates who made this title race interesting,” he added.

Chiefs received R10-million for winning the league.

Recent PSL seasons

In recent years, the race for the PSL title has gone all the way to the final weekend, but Chiefs winning of the league was the earliest since Mamelodi Sundowns won it by 10 points in the 2006/07 season.

Last season, 2011/12, Orlando Pirates finished two points ahead of Moroka Swallows. Pirates also claimed the honours in 2010/11, but only on goal difference over Ajax Cape Town.

SuperSport United claimed three titles in succession before the Buccaneers won two in a row: in 2009/10, they finished one point clear of Mamelodi Sundowns; in 2008/09, they edge Pirates on goal difference; in 2007/08, they finished two points clear of Ajax Cape Town.

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