Mamelodi Sundowns beat Chippa United 2-1 on Monday afternoon, in the process extending their lead at the top of the table to six points with 10 games remaining in the DStv Premiership campaign.
Goals from Themba Zwane and Peter Shalulile ensured Sundowns would put some breathing space between themselves and AmaZulu in second place. They set a few records along the way, the most famous of which is going unbeaten in 20 games from the start of a season.
20 – Sundowns set a new PSL record for the longest unbeaten run from the start of a top-flight season (20 games, W13 D7).
Not only that, but they also equalled their own club points record in the opening 20 games of a PSL season, which was set by some memorable squads under Paul Dolezar and Pitso Mosimane respectively.
46 – Sundowns equalled their club record of 46 points from the first 20 games of a league season, having also managed 46 points at this stage both in 1999/2000 and 2015/16.
The 1999/2000 side went on to set a joint-PSL record of 75 points in a season (though that was a 34 game season), while the 2015/16 side went on to set a 30-game PSL record of 71 points. If you need more proof on how good this side has been, take a look at how close they have come to the all-time PSL record for 20 games.
2 – Only two teams in PSL history have won more points in the opening 20 games of a league season than the 46 Sundowns have won this term – Manning Rangers in 1996/97 (48 points from the opening 20 games) and Chiefs in 2014/15 (47 points from the opening 20 games).
They would have equaled the all-time 20-game PSL record had they won against Leopards two games ago. Ah, the beauty of hindsight!
What can they aim for?
The coming fixtures will be tough, but the loss to CR Belouizdad may have been a blessing in disguise, in that they don’t have to think too much about competition-wide records, especially in the Nedbank Cup tie against Pirates.
The Caf Champions League loss brought an end to a 28-match unbeaten run in all competitions, but the Brazilians still have the opportunity to equal, extend or break other club records and other league records too.
22 – Sundowns are now unbeaten in 22 league games going back to the end of last season, six games shy of their own club record (28) and nine shy of Chiefs all-time PSL record (31).
Should they go the season unbeaten, they will set a new unbeaten record in the league of 32 games. With 30 points to play for, Sundowns can afford to lose one and draw one of their last ten games, and still equal the 30-game record (71 points) and also still win the title. However, there is a long way to go and the brains trust led by Manqoba Mngithi will be the first to remind anyone.
0 – No team in PSL top-flight history has ever completed a full league season unbeaten. AmaZulu, Chiefs, Arrows, and Pirates are the next four opponents in the league, and should they navigate those waters unscathed, perhaps Downs fans could start dreaming of something unique. A golden trophy, perhaps?
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By Opta Jabu