2021/22 Season Review: Part 4

The 2021/22 Premiership Soccer League season was yet another entertaining roller coaster in South African football, with Mamelodi Sundowns continuing with their local domination in the DStv Premiership. With twenty six league games already played, an MTN 8 Cup and a 12th league title in the bag, Masandawana were left with four games to play in the DStv Premiership and one Cup final to attend to in hopes of a domestic clean sweep.

The Brazilians won two of their four remaining games of the season, 2 – 0 against Sekhukhune United, 3 – 2 with Royal AM and drew 1 – 1 with Kaizer Chiefs in what was titled “Champions Calabash Take-Over” at the FNB Stadium. The Thwane giants had another theme to their last home game that was played at the TUKS Stadium against Stellenbosch FC, they invited football supporters to come to their “Heroes Homecoming” game in Pretoria as the team awaited to be crowned on the last day of the season in KwaZulu-Natal. 

Masandawana unfortunately suffered their biggest defeat in this campaign, losing 3 – 0 against Stellies on their home ground. Despite their disappointing performances, the Yellow Nation stood in sight, singing and chanting at the TUKS Stadium as the Sundowns squad came forth to acknowledge their presence and support after the encounter. The Brazilians confirmed their status in their final theme of the season, “Crowning The Champions” as they were without a question SA domestic champions of the DStv Premiership with their 12th league title and officially crowned as the 2021/22 DStv Premiership champions after their top scoring victory at the Chatsworth Stadium.

Bafana Ba Style presented a VIP experience for their super supporter Thabang Lebete, who got the opportunity to meet the Chairman of Mamelodi Sundowns, the technical staff, players and everyone involved at the club. Lebete got to witness The Brazilians clinch their fifth consecutive DStv Premiership title at Loftus Stadium when they played to a goalless draw with The Citizens.

To end off the season, another Sundowns supporter got to experience the Nedbank Cup final in style, being treated to a VIP experience like Mr. Lebete. Downs snatched the much anticipated Ke Yona silverware against Marumo Gallants in a closely contested battle. Masandawana scored the winning goal in the dying minutes of extra time to take home their sixth Nedbank Cup title after beating Gallants 2-1 at a festive Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace and successfully completed a domestic treble.

It was by no surprise when The Brazilians dominated the PSL Awards categories for the 2021/22 season. Namibian international Peter Shalulile and midfielder Andile Jali were the big winners at the Premier Soccer League awards evening. Shalulile was nominated for the footballer of the season category as well as the player’s player of the season and the MTN8 last man standing alongside the Matatiele born star Jali, who also featured as a nominee in two other categories: midfielder of the season and the Nedbank Cup player of the tournament. The 28-year old striker was rewarded with the Players’ Player of the Season accolade and the Footballer of the Season accolades after bagging 28 goals in all competitions. Jali walked away with the MTN8 last man standing, the Nedbank Cup player of the tournament and midfielder of the season awards. Co-coaches Manqoba Mngqithi and Rulani Mokwena got their hands on the Coach of the Season award and full back Lyle Lakay grabbed the defender of the season accolade.

To close off the season, Masandawana paid a visit to the home of DStv in Randburg – MultiChoice City to celebrate their successful campaign. The champions team was welcomed by the Babize Bonke team with the DStv Premiership trophy by their side as they reflected back on their journey. Celebrations for the Yellow Nation were still under full swing in the form of an open-top bus parade on the streets of Tshwane in what was called the #YellowParade, going through the suburbs and the business districts of Pretoria. Thousands supporters of the South African Champions’ team filled the streets across different parts of Tshwane to get a glimpse of Bafana Ba Style as the champions paraded their three PSL trophies in two open-top buses. Celebrations closed off at Church Square – Pretoria CBD, with the three trophies decorating the stage while the Sundowns players and technical staff took turns to introduce themselves.

While the 2021/22 Premier Soccer League season came to a close at the end of May 2022, players, coaches and technical staff members have taken a break from football, Masandawana announced their latest signing to the club. SuperSport United and Downs agreed on terms for the move of 24-year-old Sipho Mbule, who will form part of the new season squad. Mbule reunited with his former teammates and friends Aubrey Modiba, Grant Kekana and Teboho Mokoena and will dawn Bafana Ba Style’s jersey on a 3-year contract deal.