2013: The Highs and Lows

IT has been an action-packed last 12 months on the South African football calendar, with plenty to celebrate as memories were created, heroes born, and in some cases, tears shed.

January 19: Bafana Bafana start their 2013 Africa Cup of Nations campaign in South Africa with a 0-0 draw against Cape Verde, but follow that up with a win over Angola and a 2-2 draw with Morocco to book their place in the quarter-finals, where they bow out on penalties to Mali.

February 10: Nigeria are crowned Kings of Africa at Soweto’s Soccer City after beating Burkina Faso in the 2013 AFCON final.

February 16: Orlando Pirates begin their long and arduous CAF Champions League campaign with a 5-0 thrashing of Comores team Djabal Club.

February 23: Maluti FET College Shock Pirates in the Nedbank Cup, the Second Division side recording a 4-1 victory at Charles Mopeli Stadium in the last 32.

March 10: SuperSport United defender Mor Diouf scores what turns out to be the Goal of the Season when he nets from well inside his own half in a league match against Mamelodi Sundowns.

May 5 – Orlando Pirates hold on, against the odds, and against a very hostile reception in the DRC, a 1-0 loss to TP Mazembe enough to see the Buccaneers through to the group stages of the Champions League on the away goals rule.

May 11: Veteran goalkeeper Andre Arendse, at the age of 45, makes the switch from technical team to the starting line-up in Bidvest Wits 3-1 win over AmaZulu.

May 15: Kaizer Chiefs claim their first league title in eight years, clinching the 2012/ 2013 Absa Premiership title with a 1-1 draw with SuperSport United at the Peter Mokaba Stadium, Lehlohonolo Majoro getting the all-important goal.

May 25: Chiefs add another trophy to the cabinet when they beat SuperSport United 1-0 in the Nedbank Cup, Bernard Parker’s extra time goal the difference at the Moses Mabhida Stadium.

May 26: Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune is the big winner at the end of season awards, the AmaKhosi shot-stopper being named as Player of the Season, Goalkeeper of the Season, Players’ Player of the Season and the Nedbank Cup Player of the Tournament. Moroka Swallows’ Katlego Mashego wins the Golden Boot for his 13 goals

June 6: Benni McCarthy announces his retirement from football after a glittering career, adding that he is looking forward to coaching in the future.

June 12: Former Orlando Pirates coach Kostadin Papic returns to South Africa to take over at Black Leopards.

June 16: Bafana Bafana’s 2014 World Cup qualifying dream suffers a huge blow when a second-half own goal from Bernard Parker sees them losing 2-1 in Ethiopia. SuperSport United confirm that former Platinum Stars boss Cavin Johnson will be taking over from Gavin Hunt, who joins Bidvest Wits.

June 20: The PSL announce Brand de Villiers as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

July 8: Chiefs announce they have re-signed former star Knowledge Musona from German Bundesliga side 1899 Hoffenheim on a one-year loan deal.

July 18: Premiership club AmaZulu secure memorable pre-season victory over English giants Manchester City with Bongani Ndulula and Carlington Nyadombo both on target in 2-1 win.

July 23: Kaizer Chiefs defender Jimmy Tau calls time on his career, the Kimberley-born player having captained both Chiefs and Orlando Pirates. Bucs announce they have signed striker Kermit Erasmus from SuperSport United.

August 4: Pirates send shockwaves throughout the continent when they clinch a famous 3-0 victory away to Al Ahly in their Group A clash at El Gouna. It was one of the club’s biggest victories in its long history.

August 8: AmaZulu beat Pirates 1-0 in a Premiership fixture at FNB Stadium. It was Usuthu’s first win away at the Buccaneers for 20 years.

September 7: Chiefs ace Bernard Parker scores twice and Kermit Erasmus of Orlando Pirates is also on target as Bafana Bafana beat Botswana 4-1 in a World Cup qualifier in Durban. The hosts, though, miss out on a place in Brazil 2014, finishing second in their group.

September 28: Platinum Stars win the second major trophy in their history when they are crowned MTN8 champions. Dikwena pip Pirates to the title, winning 3-1 on penalties.

October 20: Pirates reach a second Champions League final and the first since their last appearance in the continental showpiece 18 years earlier. A 1-1 draw at Esperance of Tunisia was enough for the Bucs to progress on away goals rule thanks to a Rooi Mahamutsa goal.

October 22: Sundowns thrash AmaZulu 7-1 in an Absa Premiership fixture in Pretoria. It is a result that sends a strong message to all their rivals as the Brazilians look to win the championship for the first time in seven years.

November 10: Pirates’ dream of winning a second CAF Champions League title comes to an end after they lose the final second leg 2-0 away at Al Ahly in Cairo. They had drawn the first leg 1-1 a week earlier in Soweto, losing 3-1 on aggregate to the Egyptians.

November 19: Amakhosi forward Bernard Parker is again a national hero when he scores for South Africa in a famous 1-0 win over world champions Spain at FNB Stadium.

December 7: After upsetting Pirates in the MTN8 decider, lightening strikes twice for Stars as they win the Telkom Knockout crown. This time it took two late goals from Mogakolodi Ngele for the Rustenburg outfit to win 2-1.

December 12: Kaizer Chiefs announce that coach Stuart Baxter has signed a two-year contract extension at the club. The Briton will now stay at the club until the winter of 2016.-www.psl.co.za



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