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PSL Season Review: African Football HQ Special

In a one-off AFHQ special, an all-star panel on the podcast dissect a memorable South African top flight campaign

It’s another one-off special on the African Football HQ Podcast this week, as Malek Shafei welcomes in a South African all-star cast of pundits to review the 2019-20 Premier Soccer League season.

The campaign came to a thrilling conclusion on Saturday as Mamelodi Sundowns defeated Black Leopards 3-0 to overhaul Kaizer Chiefs at the death to win their third consecutive PSL title.

It was a historic achievement for Pitso Mosimane’s side, who become the first PSL side to win the title in three successive seasons on two separate occasions.

Lebohang Maboe was the hero on the day for Downs, netting a hat-trick as the reigning champions did their bit by thumping Leopards 3-0.

However, the real story of the day—and of the season—has been Chiefs’ remarkable capitulation.

Looking to end their five-year wait for the South African title, a championship which many fans believe belongs to the Amakhosi, all Ernst Middendorp’s side needed was a win against Baroka on the final day in order to clinch the title.

They’d led the table since August 2019, but remarkably contrived to lose the title at the death as they were held 1-1 despite taking the lead in the first half.

Ernst Middendorp Kaizer Chiefs head coach

Heading into the final day level on points with Sundowns, and with a superior goal difference, Chiefs just needed to better or match the champions’ result in order to get over the line, and even one second-half goal would have been enough to clinch the championship.

Ultimately, Middendorp’s side will be left to regret both their inability to net a second against Baroka on Saturday, and their form once top flight football returned after lockdown, as Chiefs lacked both the winning mentality and the defensive solidity required to end their championship wait.

On the podcast this week, guests Lorenz Kohler (Kick Off), Nick Said (Times) and Brian Lee (Backpage Media) review Chiefs’ capitulation, the key figures behind Sundowns’ latest triumph, and assess the season as a whole.

The trio believe that Milutin Sredojevic’s early-season exit from Orlando Pirates—for the riches on offer in SC Zamalek—had a major bearing on the campaign, even though his exit came over a year ago.

Also discussed is the impact that the pressure of being league leaders—and of closing in on a long-awaited title—had on Chiefs, and whether the premature exit of George Maluleka ultimately undermined the Glamour Boys’ title challenge.


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