We make sense of the PSL weekend every Monday by bringing you a Winners & Losers column. Here, we share our statistical opinion on which teams have won the weekend, and which teams took home the L. This week is no different, with Orlando Pirates leading the Winners section, while Kaizer Chiefs feature in the Losers section. What a difference one week makes in football!!
Orlando Pirate’s Defence – Winner
If ever proof was needed that it is foolish to dismiss any managerial hire until they have been given sufficient time to show their competency, we are seeing it at Orlando Pirates. Make no mistake, they haven’t won anything as yet (we are just 25% into the season), but the signs are looking good. At least defensively.
Offensively, there are still questions to be answered. People will forever question a team’s progress as long as they are not scoring many goals in every game. After all, six goals in eight games are the joint-lowest total for a Pirates side in the PSL era. But the last time they chalked this low total was in 2011/12. Plus, this was the first time Pirates scored more than once in a league game this season.
But when your defence is as solid as theirs has been, there is little reason to panic. If anything, there could be some reason to be optimistic. Here are a few stats to put their defensive efforts into perspective.
5 – Pirates have kept five clean sheets in their opening eight league games, the club’s most at this stage of a PSL season since 2011/12, when they went on to lift their last title.
1 – Only once before in PSL history have Orlando Pirates conceded fewer goals in the first eight games of the season than the three allowed in this campaign (Played 8, Conceded 1 in 2009-10).
16 – In the last decade, Pirates have won more points at this stage of the season just once (16 in 2013/14).
That MTN8 double-clash with Sundowns seems to be gaining extra significance with every passing game week. And it may not only be about the MTN8.
Chippa United – Winner
While not necessarily the start of a new dawn, things look promising for Klate-less Chippa, who cruised to a victory over AmaZulu. The Chilli Boys were in KZN for the third time in as many weeks, and while they lost against Royal AM and Arrows, they returned home singing a different tune. Like most Chippa coaches, Daine Klate’s stint may have been very brief at the club, but management will consider themselves justified that the decision to go in a different direction has reaped immediate fruit. That said, their away form has been decent even with Klate at the helm.
5 – Chippa have scored in each of their first five away games of the season for the first time in their top-flight history. They scored in seven away games throughout all of last season.
Steve Barker – Winner
Returning home to a club where he played must have been an emotional experience for Steve Barker. Indeed, Barker came on as a substitute for Wits in their first ever league game in the PSL era – a 0-0 draw against Vaal Professionals in August 1996. 26 years later, he returned to Wits as a coach.
“Lots of fond memories as a player of course but today is about what my team can do against Swallows … I’m expecting a massive performance & believe we have what it takes to get the Win” – Steve Barker before the game.
His young guns did not disappoint, taking the early lead, then retaking it later to register the first away win of the campaign and another happy Saturday.
1 – Stellies have lost just one of their last 20 league games played on a Saturday (W8 D11 L1).
Gavin Hunt – Winner
Half victory, half vindication. Hunt was heavily criticized in recent weeks for a defensive approach when SuperSport met Sundowns in the MTN quarter-finals. A week later, he managed to beat the same Sundowns in the league and has followed that up with this weekend’s win.
3 – SuperSport have won three consecutive league games for the first time since December 2020 (last of last season).
The PSL And Goals- Winner
Sinethemba Mngomezulu’s opener for Stellenbosch v Swallows FC was the 100th goal scored in the league this season. Coming in the 56th game, it is the slowest a PSL season has ever taken to reach 100 goals. But with 10 of the 12 teams scoring on the weekend, the Over 0.5 crowd will be smiling.
Cape Town City- Winner
Their first-ever CAF Champions League tie ended in victory, helping them continue a local tradition.
6 – No PSL team has ever conceded a home goal in CAF competitions against a side from the Republic of the Congo, with City hosting the sixth such tie.
AmaZulu And Conceding First – Loser
We previously lauded AmaZulu for coming back to win back-to-back league games a few weeks ago, but we also warned of the dangers of always conceding first in such a low-scoring league. It is difficult for the come-from-behind blueprint to work repeatedly over a short period of time. Truter’s team have conceded first in four of seven matches this season, as many as they did in the final 18 games of last season. Trailing 0-1 at half-time is one thing, but 0-2 really leaves a team with a mountain to climb. This was the first time Usuthu trailed by 2+ goals at half-time under Brandon Truter, and history was never on their side.
1 – Historically, AmaZulu have recovered just one point when trailing by 2 or more in a PSL league game (43 matches, W0 D1 L42).
Own Goal Scorers – Loser
Three players scored own-goals this weekend – Siyavuya Ndlovu, Vusi Sibiya, Given Msimango. Before today, we’d seen only two own-goals all season.
Marumo Gallants – Loser
The red card did not help, but Gallants giving away another lead is not a good look. No team has dropped as many points after leading as Marumo Gallants this season (8).
Kaizer Chiefs – Loser
If ever Arthur Zwane needed a pick-me-up result, a clash against the bottom team in the league would have been the perfect place to look. Instead, Chiefs needed a late equalizer against 10 men to rescue a point. Should Sekhukhune & Marumo Gallants win their next games, Chiefs could find themselves joint-bottom of the league table before their next kick-off, separated by just goal difference.