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By The Numbers: Sundowns Set New PSL Records

Sundowns beat Stellenbosch 3-1 on Wednesday night to increase their gap at the top of the table to 10 points.

Siyabonga Mabena

Sundowns beat Stellenbosch 3-1 on Wednesday night to increase their gap at the top of the table to 10 points. In doing so, they set a new outright record for the longest run without defeat in PSL history, going 32 league matches unbeaten (W26 D6 since September 2022). Not only that, but the Brazilians also equalled the PSL record for consecutive wins from the start of a top-flight season (8, level with 2014/15 Kaizer Chiefs under Stuart Baxter). In this By The Numbers piece, we break down this result and how it came about, including a late record for a 16-year-old schoolboy.

Downs were already tied for the record with Chiefs on 31 unbeaten games. But there is no doubt Sundowns’ run has been more dominant.

32 – games Sundowns have gone unbeaten
31 – games Chiefs went unbeaten in 2005
84 – points by Sundowns in their 32-game run (W26 D6)
61 – points by Chiefs in their 31-game run (W15 D16)
2.6 – points per game in Sundowns run
1.9 – points per game in Chiefs’ run

Downs Mount A Rare Comeback

There were two rare sights on Wednesday night besides the rain and lightning. Seeing Sundowns trailing in a game doesn’t happen often, and when it does, they rarely come back. Even with a depleted squad, Stellies were very brave on the night, scoring the first goal quite early on.

7 – times Sundowns have conceded the first goal since the start of 2021/22
0 – times they had come back in those instances to win from this position before yesterday (D3 L4)
1 – times a team had scored first v Mokwena’s Sundowns before Stellies did (Arrows in April)
1 – times a team had scored a 1st half goal v Sundowns in the last year before Stellies (Arrows in April)

Yet, for the visitors, this was hardly a surprise. Coming into this, Barker had won two games against Mokwena (as the sole head coach) in the past, more than any other coach. While those were both Cup games, the record indicated that this was not going to be a straightforward win. If there is one thing Steve Barker has managed in the last few years, it’s instilling a sense of fearlessness in his young teams.

5 – times Stellies have taken the lead v Sundowns since their 2019 promotion, more than any other side
2 – teams that have taken the lead v Sundowns on more than one occasion since 2019 (also AmaZulu, twice).

However, Stellies still struggled as the game wore on, and Sundowns’ quality started to show. In an attacking and shot-taking sense, this ended up as a normal game for the Brazilians.

13 – average shots taken by both Stellies and Sundowns in games this season (joint-1st in the league)
14 – total shots by Sundowns in this game (1 more than their average)
4 – total shots by Stellies in this game (9 less than their average)
1 – shots by Stellies in the second half (0 on target)

The visual below shows how Sundowns have consistently been making the majority of the shots from inside the box whilst limiting the opposition’s opportunities in front of the goal. Stellies only got three shots in Downs’ box, which has been the story for many teams this season.

Mabena Sets A New PSL Record

16 years 7 months 9 days – Siyabonga Mabena’s age when he scored Sundown’s 3rd goal (a new record for the club).

He (16y 7m & 9d) surpasses Thulani Ngcepe (16y 11m & 21d in 2007) as the competition’s youngest-ever scorer. The overall PSL record in all competitions is 15 years, 5 months & 22 days, by Mkhanyiseli Siwahla who scored for Ajax over Dynamos in the 2004 ABSA Cup.

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