Mamelodi Sundowns legends laud team’s records-smashing generation 

Even Mamelodi Sundowns legends who achieved success with the club in years past can’t help but marvel at the current generation’s achievement of going 29 games in the league without defeat. 

The Tshwane outfit has just been crowned South African football kings for a record-extending seventh consecutive season. Going into yesterday’s final league match against Cape Town City, Sundowns have incredibly not lost a single match in all domestic competitions this campaign. They drew twice, in the MTN final and in the quarterfinal of the Carling Cup, only to go on and lose on penalties. A penalty shootout is recorded as a draw in football.  

They are also in the final of the season-ending Nedbank Cup where they’ll face Orlando Pirates on June 1 at Mbombela Stadium. 

Sundowns are showing no signs of slowing down. 

By winning the league with a clutch of games to spare they also became the first team in the PSL 16-team era to reach 72 points – a record that club legend Hlompho Kekana hailed as a remarkable feat. 

“To mark the 72 points record is massive and what makes it even nicer is the fact that this record has been held by this club and it’s been broken by the same club,” Kekana said.  

“For players it is going to feel like a normal thing. After their careers, they will look back at these moments and be prouder that they’ve managed to do what they did … It’s remarkable.” 

The Downs players broke the points record, were the fastest team to reach 50 points, going 53 games unbeaten and had the most clean sheets in a season. 

Sundowns have scored 52 goals in 29 league games and are four goals away from breaking yet another record of their own of 56 goals scored in a season, which was set two seasons ago. 

“Modern football is all about investing and the difference between other teams and Sundowns is that the chairman, Tlhopie Motsepe, is investing in the club,” said another club legend, Lovers Mohlala. 

“The professionalism going on at that club is totally different and on another level.”  

Kekana, who lifted the CAF Champions League with the club, knows what it takes to win titles despite a congested schedule. “It’s so refreshing to see these players achieving that under the toughest season of their careers,” he said. “To play the number of games they played this season and still manage to remain unbeaten in the league in 29 matches is huge. 

“So, I salute these boys for a job well done. This goes to everybody at the club, the board, the Motsepe family, coaches, players, kitchen staff and office staff. Congratulations to all of them.” 

The gap of double figures the champions have opened between them and their rivals sums up just how far teams are from challenging Sundowns. 

The likes of goalkeeper Ronwen Williams, playmakers Marcelo Allende and Themba Zwane, Brazilian samba king Lucas Ribeiro Costa and the towering backline of Mothobi Mvala and Grant Kekana were some of the instrumental figures in guiding Sundowns to glory. 

Coach Rulani Mokwena has probably had the greatest and yet toughest season of his career from being lampooned for mimicking Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola, to having bad blood with TS Galaxy coach Sead Ramovic and the déjà vu of exiting the CAF Champions League in the semifinals for the second season running. 

Mokwena will also get an -opportunity to meet his idol Guardiola at the Fifa Club Wolrd Cup. “Yes, I am very excited and you know what excites me more? Is meeting Pep Guardiola (laughs),” Mokwena said recently. 

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