The month of love has come to an end, with some teams and fans enjoying the month of February, while others were forced to endure it.
Opta Jabu ran through the numbers from the month and picked up a few teams that fell on either side of a news Winners And Losers column that we’ll be trialling at the end of every month, until the end of the season.
Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila
League newbies Tshakhuma finally have reason to smile as they won back-to-back league games for the first time this season in the month of February.
Indeed, they won more league games last month (2) than they had managed in the preceding four months before then (1). Add to that, Cup wins over SuperSport United (2nd on the league table) and Swallows FC (3rd on the league table) ensured they reach the Last 8 of the Nedbank Cup, so TTM are our biggest winners this month.
Having been dragged into the relegation zone at the end of January, they now sit in 14th place on the table, just five points off a Top 8 spot. TTM had the best 100% record in the league in February, winning two of the two games played. Mamelodi Sundowns (P1 W1) are the only other team with a 100% of their league games.
4 – TTM are just one of only four sides this season to finish a month with a 100% win record in the league, following Sundowns (November & February), SuperSport (December) and Baroka (October).
Manqoba Mngqithi & co.
It may be easy to forget, but Sundowns have not lost a game in all competitions since the season opening MTN8 quarter-final defeat to Celtic. Despite playing just one league game in February, Sundowns still enjoyed a 100% record. More importantly, their nearest rivals SuperSport (7 points dropped), Orlando Pirates (5), Swallows (4) and Golden Arrows (3) all failed to take advantage of Downs’ inaction during the month, leaving them with precious games in hand with which they can stretch their lead at the top.
Victories in two Cup competitions, including a 5-1 humiliation of CR Belouizdad in the Caf Champions League add icing to a cake that already looks very tantalising. Sundowns are already on a run of three league wins in a row, the joint-best winning run in the league this season.
2019 – The 5-1 win over CR Belouizdad is Sundowns’ biggest margin of victory in a game under Manqoba Mngqithi, and the club’s biggest since a 5-0 win over AmaZulu in October 2019.
AmaZulu started the month of February knowing they will be one of two teams to play on Valentine’s Day, a day on which they have never managed to score a goal. The blank against Swallows this year (0-0) was the third time Usuthu failed to score on V-Day in their PSL history – more than any other club. It’s a small glitch to an otherwise good February for McCarthy and his men:
7 – AmaZulu won 7 points in the league in February (P3 W2 D1), more than any other side.
However, the fact that they got knocked out of the Nedbank Cup by Black Leopards leaves them a bit lower on the Winners table.
It was around March last year when the league was suspended for lockdown, and Chiefs would welcome a similar intervention right now. The euphoria following three wins in a row in January has quickly been eroded, as Chiefs have suffered a third slump in form this season. This time, it’s worse than the runs of winless games in November and also in December. The 4-0 CAF defeat to Wydad Casablanca was the lowest point in that bad run, and Chiefs are winless in eight games (all comps), their longest such streak since December 2016 (also nine).
4 – The 4-0 defeat to Wydad Casablanca is Chiefs’ joint-worst defeat in all competitions since the PSL was established in 1996 (also 4-0 v Esperance in 2005). Indeed, Chiefs have never lost by a 4+ goal margin in a league game in the PSL era.
Hopefully a new month brings new fortunes for Gavin Hunt and his men.
Cape Town City
The Citizens are also Losers this month although they actually started February on a good note (4-0 cup win over another top-flight side). They ended the same month getting knocked out of the Cup by another top flight side.
In between, things did not get any better. Before this year City had won just one of the last 8 league games played in the month of February, losing the other seven. That sombre February record was extended as they failed to win any of the three they played this time around (D1 L2). It leaves The Citizens with just two league wins this year, meaning they’ve gone from 4th (3 points off the top at the end of last year) to 7th (12 points off the top at the end of February).
It looks like a bad month for the Cape-based sides as Stellies are also going through a rough patch of their own. Steve Barker’s men started off the month by taking the lead against Sundowns in their Nedbank Cup tie, but that lead only lasted four minutes.
Defeat to this Sundowns side in extra time is nothing to be ashamed of, but the rest of the month has been chaotic. Mendieta’s goal may go on to win Goal of the Month for February, but it’s the only goal they managed in 180 minutes of league football this past month. With four goals conceded, Stellenbosch ended with the worst goal difference in the league for the month of February (-3). They have failed to win any of their last eight games (D4 L4 all comps), their longest run without a victory since they were promoted to the top flight in 2019.
1 – Stellies have won just once in the league throughout 2021 (Played 8), the fewest of all top-flight sides.
By Opta Jabu