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By The Numbers: Sundowns Lift Their 14th League Title

Sundowns beat Kaizer Chiefs 5-1 on Thursday evening, wrapping up the 2023/24 PSL title in the process.


Sundowns beat Kaizer Chiefs 5-1 on Thursday evening, wrapping up the 2023/24 PSL title in the process. The victory secured Downs their 62nd point this season, a total no other team can match. For the seventh season in a row, The Brazilians are the champions. All in all, this is Sundowns’ 17th national title (14 in the PSL era and 3 in the NSL era). By The Numbers is a weekly column that looks at the most interesting statistical story of the week.

The title win has been expected for a while, but the nature in which Sundowns dismantled Kaizer Chiefs was more than just a win, but also a statement. Chiefs have been the dominant team in the country in the past decades, and for Sundowns to win 5-1 in their backyard is significant in more ways than one. Yes, there was an early red card against them, but they still managed to keep the score 0-0 for a good 30 minutes. That makes the second half collapse even more confounding.

5 – goals were scored by Sundowns in this game, the first time in PSL history that a team scored 5 goals v Chiefs.

+4 – margin of victory for Sundowns, their biggest ever winning margin in this fixture

5 – goals scored by Sundowns in the 2nd half alone

Second-placed Stellies can only amass 61 points at the most with their remaining four games. It’s mathematically impossible for them to catch Sundowns, even if Downs were to lose all their remaining games. In terms of games remaining, this is a rather early title win. While it is not the earliest, there seems to be a bit of a habit at Chloorkop when it comes to wrapping things up early.

6 – games left for Sundowns to play this season, the second earliest a team has won the title. 

7 – games that were left when Sundowns won the title last season, the earliest ever title win in terms of games remaining.

5 – games that were left when Sundowns won the title in the 2006/7 season, the third earliest title win in terms of games remaining.

Winning the league so early says a lot about the inconsistency of the other challengers. That could be an article of its own. But attention and credit should be given to Sundowns on and off-field teams for building a domestic winning machine for the ages. Not only have Sundowns beaten the previous 31-game unbeaten record, they could reach 50 before the end of the season.

48 – games Sundowns have gone unbeaten since September 2022 (W37 D11)

0 – Games lost by Sundowns this season, the first time a team seals the title without losing a game

The next obvious target for Sundowns is to finish the season without losing a single game. That would be a first in the PSL era, and in South African football overall. That said, there are a few more records they can aim for, besides becoming invincible. These three stand out.

71 – the highest-ever points total by a team in the PSL (Sundowns need nine in 6 games to equal that).

9 – the fewest goals conceded by a team in a season (Chiefs 2003/4). Sundowns have conceded 9 so far.

23 – the most wins by a team in a season. Downs need four from the last six to equal that.

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