Hlompho Kekana rolled back the years with an excellent free-kick in Mamelodi Sundowns’ 2-1 PSL win over Bloemfontein Celtic. Even at 34 years of age, he has been instrumental this season across several competitions. The numbers speak loud and clear — and in this case, they certainly aren’t lying.
Astonishingly, Kekana played more minutes last season in the PSL title-winning campaign (2,582) than in any other league since joining Sundowns in 2011, as per Transfermarkt. He also played more minutes in all competitions (3,922) than any other Sundowns player.
Hlompho Kekana: Minutes played in each PSL season
Hlompho Kekana: Percentage of PSL season played
These feats were particularly astonishing given his age and a jam-packed CAF Champions League schedule. Last season was particularly arduous for Sundowns, as they had to take part in two separate continental campaigns during the league season due to a tournament format change.
Coach Pitso Mosimane has managed Kekana’s minutes this season, but he still sits fifth on the overall Sundowns chart behind Motjeka Madisha, Thapelo Morena, Denis Onyango and Mosa Lebusa.
According to Transfermarkt, Kekana is currently the ninth-longest serving player at any PSL club. He has been at Sundowns for just over eight and a half years, the third-longest serving at his club behind Themba Zwane and Denis Onyango.
Kekana has scored four goals in all competitions this season — one off a close-range shot in open play after winning the ball, one off a long-range strike in open play, one off a free-kick shot, and one off a header after meeting a Lyle Lakay free-kick.
Although he is perhaps best-known for his long-range shots at goal, Kekana is no one-trick pony. His six assists this season have also varied widely in style.
With his 300th game for Sundowns having come earlier this season, the midfield maestro shows little sign of slowing down.
He sits level with Anthony Laffor and Daine Klate on six PSL titles — a total nobody has topped. Kekana has won four titles with Sundowns to add to his two with SuperSport United.
If recent seasons are anything to go by, it would take a brave punter to bet against the Sundowns skipper adding to his tally.