Sundowns match record as they break 50-point barrier

football10 April 2024 08:52| © Mzansi Football
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Mamelodi Sundowns © Gallo Images

Mamelodi Sundowns broke the 50-point barrier in their 20th game of the DStv Premiership season on Tuesday night, as they recorded a controversial 1-0 away win over struggling Cape Town Spurs.

It matches their record-breaking effort of last season when they also took only 20 games to get past a half century of points, before going onto win the championship in emphatic fashion.

“I'm proud that at this point last season we broke 50 points and this season we have 52 again,” said Sundowns coach Rulani Mokwena after the victory at the Athlone Stadium.

Sundowns won with a first half penalty from top marksman Lucas Ribeiro, although the offence looked to have been committed outside the penalty area.

“Last season we were not in the in the race for three trophies but now we are in the race for three trophies. So I'm very proud and we just have to stay humble, keep our feet on the ground and just keep working,” Mokwena added.

For a second successive season, Sundowns moved from 49 points after 19 games to 52 with 10 games left to complete in the league campaign, opening a 13-point gap over second placed Stellenbosch, who have also played two games more.

Sundowns are on course for a seventh league title, and again in dominant fashion, setting off into a runaway lead from early in the season.

They are on course to break the record for most league points in a 30-game season and if they win all of their last 10 fixtures, will finish with a whopping 82, smashing their current own best mark of 71 set in the 2015/16 campaign. The most points accumulated in any season in South Africa is 75, a record Sundowns jointly hold with Kaizer Chiefs from the 1998/99 campaign that had 34 matches per team. It once seemed unthinkable that could be topped in 30 games, but not anymore.

Sundowns have also improved vastly the race the time it takes to get to 50 points. In the both the 2015-16 and 2021-22 seasons, they got to 51 points after 22 games, while the 2020-21 season they took 24 games.

In the Covid-ravaged 2019-20 season, Sundowns took the title on the last game of the season as Kaizer Chiefs faltered.

Chiefs had a comfortable lead which they squandered. AmaKhosi reached the 50-point target in 24 games, while Sundowns got there two games later but then caught up to AmaKhosi on a dramatic final day of the season.

When Sundowns won the title in 2019, they finished two points ahead of Pirates but both clubs had got to 50 points with three games left to go before Pirates slipped behind in the tussle.

Sundowns’ 2018 success was more emphatic with Pirates five points behind them in second place.

Bidvest Wits were the last club other than Sundowns to win the DStv Premiership, which they achieved in 2017. They were in a tussle with Cape Town City and Sundowns with some five games to go but a burst of three successive victories saw Wits cross the 50-point mark first after 25 games. They went onto finish with 60 and ended three points ahead of runners up Sundowns.