Mauricio Affonso scored a brace as Mamelodi Sundowns defeated Maritzburg United 2-1 to win the Telkom Knockout final at Durban’s Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday.
It’s Masandawana’s fourth League Cup, but their first since 2015.
But is that good or bad news for Pitso Mosimane’s league prospects? Sundowns currently sit third on the PSL log, with a game in hand, but ten points behind leaders Kaizer Chiefs.
Since the inception of the PSL in 1996, only 20% of the winners of major South African cup competitions have lifted the Premier Division title in the same season.
Five of the 20 previous MTN8 winners since 1996 won the Premiership title in the same campaign (25%).
Despite being widely regarded as South Africa’s main cup competition, the Nedbank Cup has only been won by the same team as the Premiership in three of 21 editions since 1998 (14%).
The Telkom Knockout, which kicks off this weekend, has been won by five teams who went on to lift the Premiership title since 1996 (22%).
These statistics do not take into account sponsorship changes to the competitions during the PSL era.
The MTN8 was initially the BP Top 8, then the SAA Super Eight. Meanwhile, the Nedbank Cup was the Bob Save Super Bowl at the start of the PSL era and later became the ABSA Cup. The Telkom Knockout has previously been known as the Coca-Cola Cup and Rothmans Cup.
For context, seven out of 27 English Premier League seasons have had a league and FA Cup double winner. Six Premier League titles have been won by the League Cup winners from the same season.
This means that altogether, 13 of 54 English cup winners in the Premier League era have also lifted their league title in the same campaign (24%), marginally more than the PSL.
Each cup competition in each season has been counted separately while gathering these stats. This means that in cases where a team won three or more trophies in the same season (e.g. Manchester City in 2018-19 or Orlando Pirates in 2011-12), all of their triumphs have been counted.
Cup winners to lift Premiership title in the same season
- MTN8: 5/20 since 1996
- Telkom Knockout: 5/23 since 1996
- Nedbank Cup: 3/21 since 1998
- Total: 13/64
A cup and a league title win in the same season has only been achieved by four teams: Orlando Pirates, Wits, Kaizer Chiefs and Mamelodi Sundowns.
Leonard Solms is a freelance South African multi-sport journalist who has written for a number of regional, national and international newspapers and websites. He won a Rhodes-Investec Top 100 Award in 2018, the year in which he completed his Bachelor of Journalism at Rhodes University.