2021/22 Season Review: Part 3

Mamelodi Sundowns’ incredible run in the DStv Premiership coincided with their innovative initiatives at the club. After launching their first ever digital magazine and partnering with leading sport experts, Bafana Ba Style had another card up their sleeves – Sundowns Stories; the newest YouTube series that tells the narrative of the people who make the club what it is today. The series was launched with a movie-style exclusive premiere at the Mall of Africa, where first team and ladies players were joined by club legends, influencers, broadcasters and media to watch a live screening of the first two episodes of the series.



The first episode took a dive into the life of former Sundowns star Teko Modise, titled “Dona – lifting the curse” alongside Robert Marawa, Doctor Khumalo, Themba Zwane and others. Modise’s episode currently has over 100 thousand views on Sundowns’ YouTube channel Mamelodi Sundowns TV. Legendary club Supporter Nickson ‘Majembeni’ Maluleka also shared his passion and journey with Masandawana in episode 2 of Sundowns Stories. “His Blood Is Yellow”, was the theme for the tale of the acclaimed Majembeni, who has been a supporter of the champions team since the crack of dawn. The story of Women’s Football star and dancing sensation, Lehlogonolo Mashego followed weeks later to tell the story of “Shoe Shine & Piano”. Hlogi expressed herself on the football pitch and on the dance floor, motivating the youth to follow in the pursuit of their dreams. 

The Nedbank Cup went a lot better for Masandawana in this campaign, first to fall were the Natal Rich Boyz in the round of 32. A 4-0 win over Richards Bay took The Brazilians to the next round of the Ke Yona competition and thrashed Mathaithai FC 6-0 to compete in the top 8. The quarter-final round was fun and filled with brilliant goalscoring moments, Downs knocked out third tier Summerfield Dynamos with a high 5-0 win. 

Bafana Ba Style signed Bolivian international Erwin Saavedra who arrived in South Africa in February. The 25-year-old midfielder played his first CAF Champions League game against Al Merrikh soon after his inception into the squad, however picked up an injury that put him out for the remainder of the 2021/22 season. 

Sundowns Ladies were leaders in their Hollywoodbets Super League awards evening held in Sandton. This is how the ladies performed on the night: Coach Jerry Tshabalala – Coach of the Season, Andisiwe Mgcoyi – Joint Top Goal Scorer, Bambanani Mbane – Player of the Season, Sundowns Ladies – Team of the Year.


Off the pitch The Brazilians were also busy. To celebrate their incredible achievement in the MTN8, Bafana Ba Style teamed up with MTN & Boots for Africa to donate soccer boots in Hammanskraal. This initiative was to make a difference to the lives of young aspiring soccer players and saw the first team joined by ladies team players as well as coaching staff to provide football clinics for the community. The club was also paid a visit by African footballing legend Asamoah Gyan as well as sportscaster Mozez Praiz whilst the club also welcomed new Sporting Director Flemming Berg into his new role at the club.

Masandawana had yet another memorable ride in the CAF Champions League up until the quarter-finals, dispatching Al Ahly of Egypt, Al Hilal and Al Merrikh of Sudan without any problems. The Brazilians not only finished top of Group A unbeaten, they also got their first win over Al Ahly in Cairo and repeated their triumph over the African giants in the return leg at home. After cruising in the group stages, Downs’ progressed into the top 8 of the continental competition where they were tasked with Angolan giants, Petro Atlético de Luanda in the quarterfinals. The first leg of the clash was to take place in April, with Masandawana traveling to Angola before coming back home to play the second leg at the FNB Stadium.

The Yellow Nation was invited to a special occasion ahead of their crucial CAF Champions League second leg against Petro. Sundowns dedicated the day to their supporters and called the event “Supporters’ Appreciation Day” at the FNB Stadium as they prepared to take on the Angolan team. It was unfortunate for the South African team as they crashed out of the Champions League following a 1-1 home draw with Petro Atletico, who progressed with 3-2 on aggregate, after a 2-1 home victory in Luanda.

After sailing through a fascinating season and enduring a disappointing CAF Champions League exodus,  Downs secured their fifth consecutive Premier Soccer League title in style after reaching a 58 point lead in 26 matches. The Brazilians successfully defended their title after playing to a goalless draw with Cape Town City in Pretoria, making it their second silverware in the campaign while awaiting to book a spot into the Nedbank final to complete a domestic treble.

The Tshwane giants were then drawn against Royal AM in the semi-final of the Ke Yona Cup competition. A mouthwatering encounter between the two teams took place in Durban, Chatsworth Stadium. Masandawana conquered Thwihli Thwahla once more as they headed into the final of the Nedbank Cup which was to be played at the end of May and kept their ambitions of a domestic treble alive.