It should be celebrated. Mamelodi Sundowns’ defeat of TP Mazembe extended their unbeaten run to 22 games in all competitions.
The last time the Brazilians lost a match was almost five months ago to Bloemfontein Celtic, Donald Trump was still the President of the United States. But it should not be over celebrated.
Sundowns’ run is not the longest of all top-flight sides, with Kaizer Chiefs (30) setting that record in 2015. We ran through previous seasons for each of the current top-flight sides to the longest unbeaten runs in all competitions.
It’s important to note that this is different from longest unbeaten runs in league matches only, and also includes Cup competitions as well. Friendly matches are excluded. By including Cup competitions, we only considered regulation time results (90 minutes).
Matches that were lost on penalties and/or in extra-time were classified as draws. For standardisation, we also only considered seasons when teams were in the top-flight, so the likes of Bush Bucks and Ajax Cape Town are not included here.
5 – Of all the teams currently in the top-flight, Stellenbosch comes first. The men from the winelands were unbeaten in five games in the bio-bubble (W2 D3 ending September 2020), which incidentally is their longest unbeaten run since their promotion in 2019. TTM’s longest unbeaten run since they became a top-flight side is also five games (W3 D2*, since February
2021), a run that they are still enjoying today.
7 – Although they have been a top-flight side since early 2000s, the longest Black Leopards have managed to go without defeat while in the top division is seven games (W5 D2, ending in August 2007). Ajax Cape Town brought an end to their run.
8 – TS Galaxy are currently on an eight game unbeaten run, which is their best run since they became a top-flight side. They are one of three clubs enjoying their best unbeaten runs as we write.
9 – Chippa’s longest run without a loss goes as far back as September 2016. The Chilli Boys had won five and drawn four games at the end of 2015/16 season and the start of the 2016/17 season, until then Mamelodi Sundowns forward Anthony Laffor stopped them in September 2016. The same Laffor is now a Chippa United player.
10 – Two sides share a record of having 10 games unbeaten as their longest run. Both teams started their top flight journeys at the same time although Cape Town City’s run (W7 D3, until December 2016) occurred just after the start of their journey. Baroka’s best run came a year later (W5 D5) until Bidveat Wits edged them 1-0 in a league encounter in October 2017, courtesy of Vincent Pule. Against no other side has Pule scored more goals (3).
11 – Two sides, both from KwaZulu Natal both have 11 games as their longest run. To complete the package both records happened in 2011. AmaZulu’s loss to Black Aces in March 2011 ended their 11-game unbeaten run (W3 D8). Maritzburg United’s record 11-game unbeaten run ended in cruel fashion against SuperSport United in October 2011.
12 – Another KZN side follows on 12 games as their best run. The end of the 2008/09 season and the start of 2009/10 season, Arrows went on a run of 12 games without defeat in all competitions (W7 D5, until Free State Stars beat them 3-1). It was the only blemish in a 19-game run that included the 6-0 MTN8 Cup final win over Ajax.
14 – The period between 2009 and 2011 was a strong period for many unbeaten runs. The sixth best run of all current league teams belongs to Bloemfontein Celtic, who won five and drew 9 before losing to Platinum Stars in a Nedbank Cup tie in March 2011.
17 – If you’re looking for a team with multiple lengthy unbeaten streaks, SuperSport is your answer. Matsatsantsa went 17 unbeaten on three separate occasions. In 2005, under Pitso
Mosimane, SuperSport won 11 and drew 6 games between January and April. Current coach Kaitano Tembo featured as a player in the latter part of that run. Under Gavin Hunt, the 2009 title winning side also won 11 and drew six league games until Golden Arrows beat them 1-0 in December. Then in 2013, Hunt’s SuperSport won nine and drew eight, ending in May.
18 – A newer entity Swallows FC (2021) recently went 18 matches unbeaten, a streak that ended last week. Eight wins and 10 draws make up their run, which was ended by fellow league newbies TS Galaxy.
22* – Another 2021 side that features is Sundowns, who are on a 22-game unbeaten run, having won 15 and drawn seven matches since last year. Downs have gone 28 league games unbeaten before, but there were seven Cup losses in between that run. With a lot of games still to be played in the season, they can still dream of beating these records, listed below:
27 – Pirates had a 27 game unbeaten run in all competitions under Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic that ended following defeat in Tunisia in February 2019 (W13 D14). That run could have ended earlier, were it not for three extra-time ‘victories’ along the way. We’ve classified these as draws.
30 – The longest unbeaten run in all competitions by a current top-flight side belongs to Kaizer Chiefs. Between April 2014 and February 2015, Chiefs played 31 games in all competitions without losing in open play (W22 D8). This run included a run of 15 successive wins in all competitions, another PSL record & Stuart Baxter was the man in charge at the time.
Amakhosi’s 31-game unbeaten run was in 2005 but counts league games only, but Chiefs lost 5 Cup games in between that run.
By Opta Jabu