How Chiefs lost the title to Sundowns

Chiefs had entered the year as favourites to win the league following a 14-match unbeaten streak.

Chiefs had entered the year as favourites to win the title after they went on 14-match unbeaten. Picture: Facebook.

JOHANNESBURG - Mamelodi Sundowns players coming back from injury at just the right time was key in the team's 10-game winning run that eventually saw them claim a record sixth Absa Premiership crown.

A win in the Tshwane derby against SuperSport United on 6 May at Loftus Stadium saw Downs officially crowned champions in one of the most intriguing title races in recent times.

Sundowns had overturned, at one time, what was a 13-point deficit to win their first PSL trophy.

It should not be surprising to see the PSL trophy back in the Pretoria team's cabinet as coach Pitso Mosimane had warned that once his players had returned from injury, the team would be a formidable force in their quest to win the league.

That warning turned to be true as the return to action of Surprise Moriri and Lebohang Mokoena gave the Brazilians the extra boost they needed in the final stretch of the campaign.

Kaizer Chiefs entered 2014 as favourites to win the title following a 14-match unbeaten run in all competitions before a defeat to Platinum Stars on 12 March.

Despite that stumble, Amakhosi picked themselves up and continued to pick up points as they came into the top-of-the-table clash against Sundowns at FNB Stadium, three points clear of their opponents.

That game was settled by a Teko Modise strike as the Brazilians won 1-0 to draw level on points with Chiefs.

However, Chiefs Coach Stuart Baxter's men still had a game in hand to give them a certain level of comfort heading into the last six games of the season.

That defeat to Sundowns for Chiefs was followed up by a another defeat to Black Aces, a result that opened up a door of opportunity for Sundowns, who went on to beat Bloemfontein Celtic to take a three-point lead.

Mosimane however still called for caution in his team as Chiefs still had two games in hand, due to postponements in their league fixtures to accommodate the team's participation in CAF competitions.

Chiefs played Wits and Free State Stars in those two games and drew them both to give Sundowns the advantage.

Sundowns made sure they made Chiefs pay for that error as they only needed a win in the Tshwane derby to secure the title.

The convincing 3-0 win over SuperSport United, courtesy of goals from Moriri, Cuthbert Malajila and a wonderful lob from Modise, also saw the team extend their winning streak to 10 matches.

The last day of the season would see they the Brazilians officially handed the PSL trophy.

But the team still had to take on Maritzburg United first.

That match ended 1-1 after Captain Alje Schut scored in the dying seconds to salvage a point.

The result however did not matter as the team won the league two points clear of Chiefs.

Sundowns now have the CAF Championship League to look forward too and with Mosimane already targeting a continental crown, it wouldn't be a surprise to see them picking up more silverware next season.