KickOff.com reveals Part 1 of our Highlights of the Year in South African football.
Posted: 28 December 2016 Time: 21:39
KickOff.com reveals Part 1 of our Highlights of the Year in South African football and you shouldn’t need to many guesses to come up with our first one …
Mamelodi Sundowns are African champions
Sundowns’ comprehensive victory over Zamalek in the final of the African Champions League was a boost not just for the club, but all of South African football.
It has placed the local game ‘back on the map’ in the eyes of international followers and no doubt brought a new level of respect for the competing teams and the players that make up the sides.
Orlando Pirates went close three years earlier, and were rightfully praised for their efforts, but Sundowns had greater swagger and were more clinical in their execution.
This could be a period of dominance for South African teams on the continent if they want it to be. Sundowns will give their all, but will Bidvest Wits in the Champions League, and SuperSport United and Platinum Stars in the African Confederation Cup?
The rise of Cape Town City
City have certainly shook things up in the Premier Soccer League in the second half of the year, claiming the Telkom Knockout trophy and emerging as potential title contenders.
The squad has been cleverly assembled by head coach Eric Tinkler, with a little nod to Pirates fans who berated him so much during his time in Soweto with the club having plunged new depths since his departure.
They have taken the core of the Mpumalanga Black Aces side purchased by John Comitis in June and made some good additions.
The side does not just win games, but also plays a fantastic brand of football with exciting forwards.
Tendai Ndoro’s goal-streak
There is no better sight in football than a striker in full flow and Tendai Ndoro has been magnificent in 2016.
He started the year outside of the Pirates team, unable to find form and win favour in terms of selection.
But after injury allowed him his chance, he scored a brace against former side Mpumalanga Black Aces in February, never looking back as he scored 22 goals in the calendar year.
He has by far been the most lethal forward in the PSL in 2016 and some of his strikes have been sublime.
Bafana Bafana beat Senegal
South Africa’s FIFA World Cup qualification campaign was in danger of being ended before it really started unless they could grab a home win against Senegal in November.
They ride their luck a little with a fortunate penalty in the first half but came out on top 2-1 to beat what had been the best African team in 2016 by some distance, with a side packed with players from Europe’s top five leagues.
It showed the huge potential of Bafana that, with the right man at the helm to really take them forward, has the potential to be a big player on the continent.
The Nedbank Cup final is a thriller!
Cup finals all around the world can be dull, dire affairs with both teams to scared to lose rather than going for the win.
But the 2016 Nedbank Cup finals between SuperSport United and Pirates proved a classic, with the former eventually turning our 3-2 winners.
Luvuyo Memela had given Pirates an early lead, before Jeremy Brockie, Bradley Grobler and Michael Boxall all netted for SuperSport before halftime.
An own goal from Clayton Daniels then reduced the deficit to one goal, before SuperSport lost keeper Ronwen Williams to injury, forcing Boafela Pule into a PSL debut where he made a couple of excellent saves.
It was a match packed with goals, action, drama and suspense, and was a great advert for South African football.