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PSL Season Reviews: Part 1 (Team A – C)

We have spent the last 10 months (and few years) recording the stats around the PSL football season, and now that the season is done, we’re reviewing some stand out statistics for each team.

Kaizer Chiefs

We have spent the last 10 months (and few years) recording the stats around the PSL football season, and now that the season is done, we’re reviewing some stand out statistics for each team. With access to every single data point from the entire season, what better way to round off the 27th PSL season than a statistical look at each and every team in the division. Many statistics have been shared on social and traditional media, but by nature, there is always something hidden in the data that can provide even more insight. That is our aim this week – to find the unusual stats on each team and share them in a four-part series from A to Z. Today, Part 1 focuses on Teams A to C.

AmaZulu

Last season: 7th

This season: 12th

Points swing from last season: -8

Top scorer (all comps): Frank Mhango, Bongi Ntuli (6 goals)

“Come 2022 we want to be number one team in the PSL and the next decade leading up to the club’s centenary, it must be a decade where AmaZulu become the dominant force…”

This was AmaZulu chairman Sandile Zungu laying the gauntlet a few years ago, and it turns out he was right. On 19 August 2022, AmaZulu beat Swallows FC 3-2 to go top of the league. Yet, he must have imagined being the number one team for more than five days – that is how long they lasted there, only until 23 August. Three wins in the opening 4 games must have left all at the club beaming with pride. Little did they know, they’d only win just 4 of the next 26. A season remembered more for staff changes and “redeployments’ ‘ blew up in a bad way after reaching the summit. And it culminated in a humiliating 4-0 at home to Pirates on the final day, the club’s biggest home defeat since the infamous 6-0 loss to Kaizer Chiefs 10 seasons ago, at the start of the 2012/13 season. That capitulation means they end the season eight points worse off than the last – the second biggest negative points swing of all teams.

23 – Between 23 August (when they topped the league) and the end of the season, AmaZulu won 23 points, the fewest of all teams.

Cape Town City

Last season: 2nd

This season: 4th

Points swing from last season: -4

Top scorer (all comps): Khanyisa Mayo (13 goals)

12 wins last season was enough for 2nd place, but this time it’s only good for fourth. The Nedbank Cup exit to Royal AM in February may have been the turning point for Cape Town City’s season (in many ways). Eric Tinkler used the post-match to call on referees to be made full time professionals, questioning some calls made in that defeat. Sitting just two points above the relegation zone, they won the very next game v Swallows, and Tinkler’s comments after that win showed just how much pressure he was under.

‘We needed the 3 points to take the pressure off’ – Tinkler after beating Swallows

Those few days were tumultuous but they put in motion something that Tinkler was able to build on. Now, their season can easily be split into BCE (Before Cup Exit) and ACE (After Cup Exit). Since the exit, City (22) have won more points than any other team in the league except Pirates (23). When Eric Tinkler bullet-points key moments for his end of season report, their lack of luck with the officials could be at the top. Yet, dropping 19 points from winning positions (the most of all teams) will likely be at the bottom (if revealed at all).

6 & 0 – Cape Town City received more red cards than any other team (6 – five of them after Tinkler’s comments). They were also the only team not to be awarded a penalty all season. 

Chippa United

Last season: 14th

This season: 14th

Points swing from last season: +1

Top scorer all comps: Etiosa Ighodaro (11 goals)

Nearly every season we know how the Chippa story unfolds – a good run in the league or Cups, one or two impressive results against the big sides, with a long winless run in between. In the end, they will be fighting relegation, and credit to them, they always find a way out. The middle of each season is always shrouded with the mystery of coaching changes, but nevertheless it’s worth recalling who has been at the helm this season – Daine Klate, Morgan Mammila, Kurt Lentjies, Siyabulela Gwambi & Lehlohonolo Seema all lifted their hand at some point. Together they contrived to take Chippa from 14th last season to 14th in this. What is particularly striking about this campaign is that in October, Morgan Mammilla helped Chippa become the first team to win 4 games in a row. But they picked up the fewest points of any side since that run, and the fact that they remain the only team without a red card is mere consolation.

44 – Chippa conceded 44 goals this season, the worst defence of all sides this season, and their highest ever total in the top-flight. 

Kaizer Chiefs

Last season: 5th

This season: 5th

Points swing from last season: -3

Top scorer all comps: Ashly du Preez (9 goals)

The bold claim that Kaizer Chiefs’ “stats” had improved compared to the last few seasons may be the quote of the season. We’ve done a deep dive on what we think Zwane meant when he said this elsewhere , so we won’t go into more detail here. If anything, one win in the final two games of the season would have left Zwane with a leg to to stand on (a 48% win rate would have equaled the best coaches since their last title), while two wins would have given him two legs to stand on (A 50% win rate would be the best of all Chiefs coaches in the last eight seasons). Instead, we’re left with mostly the negative stuff and with a 2-month break, it may sting a bit longer for Chiefs fans. The 1-0 defeat on the final day meant they slipped into a negative goal difference for just the second time in PSL history (also 2020/21), and the irony is that this came at the hand of a team that did not receive a penalty throughout the campaign (Chiefs had 10 – the most of all sides). The 12 losses suffered is also a new (unwanted) record for the club , but the cluster nature in which they came should cause more worry than the final total.

3 – Chiefs lost three consecutive games twice this season (in January & May), the first time this has ever happened in a single PSL season for them. Before then, it took 15 years for Chiefs to see two such runs.

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