By Maxwell Levine

The 2019-20 Premier Soccer League season ended in dramatic fashion when defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns snatch the title right under the noses of Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs. It can be described as the biggest “heist” ever after Chiefs led the table for the entire season, only to lose the title in 90 minutes.

At one stage during the season Kaizer Chiefs led Sundowns with a 13 points margin. They went into their final matches level on points, but with Chiefs topping the log due to a better gaol difference. Baroka were the only hurdle standing between Chiefs and the league title, which would be a fitting present to club boss Kaizer Motaung, as Chiefs celebrated their 50-year anniversary. It was not to be as Baroka came from 1-0 down to hold Chiefs to a 1-1 draw, while Sundowns thrashed Black Leopards 3-0 and move to top of the table.

Pitso Mosimane has reaffirmed his status as the greatest coach of all time with a fifth league title and Sundowns tenth overall. The latest triumph makes Mosimane the most decorated manager in PSL history, overtaking Gordon Igesund, Ted Dimtru and Gavin Hunt, who all won four titles each. To add to Mosimane’s pedigree, Sundowns went on to win the treble after beating Bloemfontein Celtic in the Nedbank Cup final. Sundowns also won the Telkom Cup earlier in the season and finished in quarter-finals of the CAF Champions League.

Pitso was full of praise for his Sundowns players and said, “The boys came from behind to steal it at the end, I think it’s a smash and grab, I call it a heist, the biggest heist ever.

“But when you go with Sundowns toe to toe, you have to be sure of your endurance, we went toe to toe with Chiefs and Stuart Baxter. In three years, we won it twice. We went toe to toe with coach Gavin Hunt, one of the best coaches ever for two years, he won it once and I brought it back. We went toe to toe with Mich (Milutin Sredojevic) for two years, I kept it, I never gave it to them. And then Kaizer Chiefs came back again in the scene and we refused that trophy must come out of the cabinet at Chloorkop.”

Kaizer Chiefs must be wondering what went wrong, a team who was in-charge of their own destiny and led every second of the league season until that very last minutes. It must hurt, considering they have no-one to blame but themselves.

The aftermath was severe, with coach Ernst Middendorp and his assistant coach Shaun Bartlett getting the boot. The only consolation for Chiefs now is that they have qualified for the CAF Champions League alongside Sundowns.

Port Elizabeth based Chippa United survived their relegation battle as they ended 11th after beating Golden Arrows 1-0 on the final day of league fixtures. It should be good news for the Eastern Cape faithful with Chippa the only representative of the Eastern Cape in the PSL. Chippa enjoy a huge following in the province and alternate venues by using Sisa Dukashe Stadium in Mdantsane as their second venue for home matches.

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