Sundowns celebrates winning the Nedbank Cup Final© Sydney Mahlangu - BackpagePixAuthor: John AliuOver the years, Mamelodi Sundowns has forged a blossoming reputation for being history chasers and record breakers. From clinching the 2016 CAF Champions League and subsequently winning the 2017 CAF Super Cup, to recently clinching a record-extending 12th Premier Soccer League title, including a historic fifth-consecutive League crown; Sundowns have become synonymous with the Pursuit of Perfection.
The disappointment of missing out on the CAF Champions League this season did little to dampen the mood of the Yellow Nation Family. While the chase for continental domination resumes next season, with renewed zest and vigour, the dazzling performance of the team during the just-concluded season will not be forgotten in a hurry.

From Denis Onyango’s acrobatics and athleticism in the MTN Cup final to Peter Shalulile’s perfect hat-trick against Moroka Swallows in the DSTV Premiership and Thapelo Morena’s last-gasp strike in the Nedbank Cup final, Bafana Ba Style were mesmerising across the three domestic competitions. They were a team littered with deep-rooted self-belief who never doubted their ability to win games.

The Chloorkop-side bagged a staggering 56 league goals in the just concluded season, a record in a 30-game PSL campaign. Thus, they also set a new top-flight record for the best goal difference in a single 30-game season with a mammoth figure of +36. Downs also finished with the best defensive record with just 20 goals conceded.
Namibian goal-machine, Peter Shalulile was as sublime as ever. The 28-year-old most notably netted back-to-back hat-tricks against Golden Arrows and Swallows in April, went past the 20-plus goal mark in the league and finished with an impressive 23 goals, two shy of Collins Mbesuma’s league-record tally of 25 goals which was registered in 2005.

Shalulile who consequently won the PSL Top Goal Scorer Award praised The Brazilians for their unwavering desire en route to a memorable treble.

“It was a wonderful season for us with a couple of ups and downs. Although we did not achieve our continental dream this year, we made our mark in the competition with some big results. At a club like Sundowns, the objective is to keep fighting for the ultimate prize and we will go again next season. Winning this domestic treble means a lot to the club and I am happy to have played a pivotal part in our record-smashing season,” Shalulile stated.
Sundowns celebrates the DSTV Premiership© Sydney Mahlangu - BackpagePixFit-again Lebohang Maboe revealed how he fought his way back from a long-term injury to play a part in what was a tough season for him.

“It was a demanding season for me considering that I was out for a majority of the campaign after the serious anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury. The season was a big success for me and the team as a whole. Everyone was disappointed that we exited the CAF Champions League at the quarterfinal stage. Nevertheless, this treble is a wonderful achievement and I am very happy that I played a part in this success story,” Maboe explained.
Sundowns celebrates the MTN8 Final© Sydney Mahlangu - BackpagePixMidfielder Sphelele Mkhulise who joined Sundowns when he was just 16 years of age and has enjoyed a steady and gradual rise to stardom, had some words of encouragement for the youngsters who are honing their skills at the club.

“As someone who progressed through the ranks (Academy) at Sundowns, winning the treble this season means so much to me. This is a motivation for the youngsters at the Academy to keep their eyes on the ball and never lose focus. I know it is not easy to break into the Sundowns First Team from the Academy, but they have to keep pushing hard in training. Sundowns is a club that strives for excellence and I am solid proof that determination pays if you do not give up. I hope my story inspires the upcoming youngsters at the club,” said Mkhulise.
Clinching three titles in one season in South African football is a big deal. As the team fires up the engine again to chase continental glory next season, Sundowns will for now continue to bask in the euphoria of landing a rare domestic treble.

The Pursuit of Perfection remains the ultimate mandate!