STATS: Sundowns v Swallows & other Sunday matches

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Understandably, the spotlight around Mamelodi Sundowns’ flying start to the season has been focused on their defence.

But there is an equally impressive case to be made about their attack – they are also the leading scorers in all competitions this season. In Wednesday’s MTN8 victory against Golden Arrows, Divine Lunga scored his first goal for the club, and then Neo Maema came off the bench to also net his club opener. As if facing Peter Shalulile, Themba Zwane & Gaston Sirino were not enough – opposition defences must also worry that goals can come from anywhere.

8 – Sundowns have had 8 different players score for them in all competitions this season, more than any other club.

Their line is ably led by Shalulile, whose exploits deserve a special note (maybe even a full article). The Namibian only joined Sundowns last season, but he is five goals away from becoming a Top 10 all-time PSL scorer at the club. You probably can only whisper this now, but if he stays in the country, and on form he could become the all-time leading goalscorer in PSL history in a few seasons.

28 – Shalulile has scored 28 goals for Sundowns in 47 top-flight appearances, more than he managed for Highlands Park (27 goals) in 84 appearances (top-flight & Cup games only).

Downs host Swallows FC on Sunday (17:30), and if they are aiming to add to that goalscorers list, or if Shalulile is to add to his goals, then they are hosting the perfect opponents. The Dube Birds were also in Cup action during the week, but were blown away by Cape Town City, humbly bowing out of the season’s first tournament. They’ve conceded seven goals in two games, breaking last week’s 3-0 record for worst defeat as a top-flight club, with a 4-0 defeat in midweek. A 5-0 defeat today may be fanciful, but it’s not out of the question. When you also consider that Swallows have played 27 league games in 2021 and scored more than one goal in only two of them, it’s hard to see where their goals will come from.

8 – Sundowns have kept eight consecutive league clean sheets from the end of last season – a new club record.

Kudos to the coaching trio who seem to have taken an already dominant team to new levels. Their defence has been outstanding, and a few games into the new season, they have not just set club records but are now targeting PSL records. The five successive clean sheets from the start of a season is a club record, but they still have 4 to go to match Orlando Pirates (9 in 2008/09), and will have to keep clean sheets until the latter parts of November to set a new PSL record.

10 – Under Roger de Sa, Wits kept 10 consecutive clean sheets at the start of the 2003/04 season, a PSL record.

Other matches

Royal AM v Maritzburg

Royal AM have been impressive of late, and they host Maritzburg in a KZN derby on Sunday afternoon. They’ve won three in a row, each victory more impressive than the one before, and alongside Sundowns are the only teams that have managed to win three league games in a row this season. And they are not just scrapping wins either.

10 – Royal AM have scored more goals than any other top-flight side this season (10 goals).

Golden Arrows v Marumo Gallants

The other early kick off on Sunday sees Arrows host Marumo Gallants. The Brave Ones are yet to score in four league games this season, but oddly are not bottom of the table – a spot reserved for TS Galaxy.

0 – No team in PSL history has ever failed to score in any of their opening five league games.

By Opta Jabu