Posted: 26 December 2015
KickOff.com takes a look at some of the brightest moments in South African football as the year 2015 draws to a close.
The country got off to a great start with the Under-17 national team qualifying for the World Cup for the first time in their history.
In February, Amajimbos reached the Final of the African Youth Championship after edging Nigeria 1-0 in Niamey, Niger and lost to Mali.
Molefi Ntseki’s boys participated at the Fifa U-17 World Cup in October that was hosted by Chile and fell at the first hurdle as they failed to make it out of their group.
Kaizer Chiefs won their 68th trophy of their 45-year existence when they hammered Polokwane City 4-1 on April 22 at FNB Stadium to win the League and the Phefeni Glamour Boys notched up a PSL-era record 69 points from their 30 games.
It was their fourth League title since the inception of the PSL in the 1996/97 season, but they are still two behind Mamelodi Sundowns, who have lifted the trophy six times.
On May 3, Golden Arrows sealed the National First Division title after they played to 1-1 draw with Cape Town All Stars.
Still in KwaZulu-Natal, coach Steve Komphela guided Maritzburg United to their first ever top eight finish.
Kaizer Chiefs defender Tefu Mashamaite was the big winner at the PSL awards as he took home the Absa Premiership Footballer of the Season, the Players’ Player and best defender prizes at the PSL’s annual awards ceremony.
Mashamaite, who pocketed R450 000 in prize money, was recognised for his role in helping the Glamour Boys to a League and MTN8 double in record-breaking fashion in 2014/15.
Mamelodi Sundowns were crowned champions of the Nedbank Cup following a 4-3 penalty shoot-out victory over Ajax Cape Town at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth.
Jomo Cosmos earned promotion into the South African top flight after beating a ten-man Moroka Swallows 1-0 in a PSL Promotional Play-off match at Dobsonville Stadium on June 3. A goal from substitute Wiseman Maluleke in the 76th minute saw Cosmos earn the three points which saw them top the play-off league table with seven points, the same as Black Leopards, but with a superior goal difference while Swallows finished bottom on three points.
Orlando Pirates legend Lucky Lekgwathi came out on top in a vote to find the Greatest Ever Leader in South African football. KICK OFF and Scottish Leader, one of the world’s favourite blended Scotch whiskies, started the vote and it looked like a two-horse race between former Bafana Bafana captains Lucas Radebe and Neil Tovey.
However, The Ghost soon found their voice and opted for the man who led them to a historic ‘double treble’ in 2011 and 2012. Radebe finished over 2 000 points further back, with Tovey a further thousand adrift. John Moeti and Brian Baloyi made up the top five.
The Carling Black Label Cup clash between Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs on August 1 broke the record for attendance at FNB Stadium. 94 807 people were inside the stadium when the Buccaneers beat Amakhosi 4-3 on penalties after the match ended 1-1 in regulation time.
The previous record was 94 713 that was set when South Africa’s rugby team the Springboks hosted New Zealand at the Johannesburg venue back in 2010.
A second half penalty by Nathan Paulse saw Ajax Cape Town crowned MTN8 champions for the first time as they beat Kaizer Chiefs 1-0 at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on September 19.
Orlando Pirates reached the CAF Confederation Cup Final after beating Egyptian side Al Ahly 4-3 on October 4. However, they lost the final against Tunisia’s Etoile du Sahel.
Banyana Banyana booked a spot at the 2016 Rio Olympics after beating Equatorial Guinea 1-0 in Bata on October 18. Striker Jermaine Seoposenwe netted the all-important goal on 62 minutes at the Estadio de Bata.
The South Africa U-23 team qualified for the Olympic Games after edging Senegal 3-1 on penalties in the CAF U-23 Africa Cup of Nations third place playoff in Dakar on December 12.
Jody February was the hero for Amaglug-glug as he saved a penalty in regulation time, as well as three spot-kicks in the shootout which culminated with Phakamani Mahlambi’s winning kick at Stade Leopold Senghor.
Mamelodi Sundowns claimed the Telkom Knockout trophy in style on Wednesday as they thrashed Kaizer Chiefs 3-1 in the final on December 16.