As the final whistle blew at Goble Park in Bethlehem to close the curtain on the 2018/19 season, Mamelodi Sundowns were crowned Absa Premiership champions in front of a jubilant crowd bringing a fitting conclusion to what has been an exciting and drama filled campaign.
Both Sundowns and Orlando Pirates were vying for South African football’s most prestigious crown, taking the fight all the way into the final game of the season. With two points separating the two sides ahead of kick-off, Sundowns were in pole position as they traveled to Bethlehem to take on Free State Stars while Orlando Pirates were hoping to secure the league title in front of their home crowd against Polokwane City. However, it was Sundowns who were not going to be pipped to the post as they claimed a narrow 1-0 win over Stars. Pirates would be disappointed to have missed out on the top crown for the second season running, but Sundowns should be delighted having reached 59 points in a season which has tested their depth. Sundowns are not only crowned as 2018/19 PSL champions but also qualified for the 2019/20 CAF Champions League.
Pitso Mosimane is the only coach in South Africa’s topflight to manage four titles with one team. He needs to be given praise for his tactical genius. 7 years in charge of Mamelodi Sundowns, not many African coaches have survived even half this length with 276 matches. He has loads of laurels including the CAF Champions League title, first manager to ever do that for the club, while chasing a second final in three years.
Mamelodi Sundowns owner, Patrice Motsepe has given praise to Mosimane saying he can be Sundowns’ Alex Ferguson and stay as long as he likes as manager of the Pretoria outfit while he’s also prioritised continental football for Sundowns. “I have said that I want Pitso to be the Alex Ferguson of Mamelodi Sundowns and that means I want to keep him for as long as he wants to be here‚” Motsepe stated. The owner continues to be generous to the club, saying he will add more money to the R10 million prize money that the players and technical team will share. It’s bonus galore for Sundowns. They will also share the R11.2 million for a Semi-Final finish in the CAFCL.