THE PSL season has raced by – already it’s the Christmas break and we have also reached the half way stage of the Absa Premiership.
As the players go off for their Festive Season relaxation period, its Mamelodi Sundowns that head the standings, followed closely by SuperSport United and Kaizer Chiefs.
PSL.co.za takes back a look back and some of the statistical highlights from the first half of the league campaign.
Goals have not always been easy to come by, yet there have been several high scoring games: in three matches fans have witnessed seven thrillers. Two of these occasions were in Cape Town: Mamelodi Sundowns hammered Santos 5-2 at Athlone, and just this Wednesday, Ajax Cape Town beat Black Leopards 4-3.
The other seven goal affair was when SuperSport United ended Maritzburg United’s unbeaten start to the season with a resounding 7-0 win in Pretoria.
The basis of any title-challenging contender is to gather a high points return at home.
In this respect SuperSport United and Orlando Pirates are out in front; both clubs have picked up 18 points from eight games played at the Lucas Moripe and Orlando Stadiums respectively.
Chiefs are also up there – they have picked up 16 points from seven games, albeit at different home venues.
Celtic, Swallows, Ajax and Free State Stars have also been hard to beat on their respective home patches, having all accumulated 15 points.
At the other end of the spectrum, Black Leopards have been unable to turn the heat of the Limpopo Province to their advantage, having picked up just five points in seven home fixtures.
Santos, Cosmos and Arrows have not fared much better, with only seven points from their home games.
Mamelodi Sundowns have proven thus far to be the best travellers – the Brazilians top that specific table with an impressive 18 points from eight games.
Chiefs and AmaZulu have also done well on the road, with 12 points from eight and seven games respectively.
Sundowns are also leaders in terms of the most number of goals scored – the Tshwane side have 30 goals in 15 matches at two goals per game.
SuperSport are next in at 25 goals, followed by Swallows (22), Wits (21) and Ajax (20).
At the other end of the spectrum, Cosmos have made heavy weather in front of the net and only have 12 goals, with AmaZulu next worse on 13 goals.
Usuthu are also the team who have failed to score in the highest number of games – the KZN side have drawn blanks eight times. SuperSport on the other hand have failed to score on only three occasions.
Black Leopards hold the dubious distinction of having the most porous defence – Lidoda Duhva have conceded 31 goals in 15 outings – an average of 2.06 per match.
Chiefs and AmaZulu have been the stingiest clubs when it comes to giving away goals – both have let in just 10, followed by Pirates (11), and Sundowns and Celtic (both 12).
Strikers are the ones to grab most headlines and in this respect Katlego Mphela of Sundowns is the main man, with nine league goals this season.
The current Bafana Bafana marksman is followed closely by a former Bafana striker: Siyabonga Nomvethe has rolled back the years and is proving to be an astute buy thanks to his eight goals so far. Both these players will be hoping to try and break the magical 20-goal barrier come the end of the season.
Diyo Sibisi was instrumental to Maritzburg United avoiding the drop last season and he’s been at it again with six goals this campaign.
Ryan Chapman has found good form at Wits and he also has six goals, as does his team-mate Sibusiso Vilakazi; an impressive return for a midfielder.
Also on six goals in Matsatsantsa’s Malawian hit-man, Atusaye Nyondo.
Next on the list are Downs’ Zimbabwean front man Nyasha Mushekwi (five) and Free State Stars attacking midfielder Edward Mnqele (also on five goals in his first season in the top flight).
On four goals a piece are Birds duo Lefa Tsutsulupa and David Mathebula, a decent return from the midfield pair.
Sundowns’ Elias Pelembe and Teko Modise have also found the net four times, as have Katlego Mashego (Free State Stars), Thamsanqa Gabuza (Arrows), Kingston Nkhatha (Leopards), Khama Billiat (Ajax), Lehlohonolo Majoro (Chiefs), Eleazar Rodgers (Santos), Clifford Mulenga (Celtic) and Collins Mbesuma (Arrows).
The Absa Premiership will return on Wednesday, 15 February 2012 with a full round of eight fixtures.-PSL