By ASHFAK MOHAMED
After one of the most enthralling Premiership seasons, Mamelodi Sundowns were crowned champions for a record ninth time on Saturday following their 1-0 victory over Free State Stars at Goble Park in Bethlehem.
That saw Masandawana move up to 59 points, two ahead of Orlando Pirates, who duly beat Polokwane City 3-0 at Orlando Stadium.
But now that we know the best team in Mzansi, who should be the best footballer? We take a look at the three nominees for the Footballer of the Year, which was announced by the Premier Soccer League on Monday…
Hlompho Kekana (Mamelodi Sundowns)
The captain of the Brazilians was once again instrumental in their surge to the title. Despite the fact that they were campaigning in the Caf Champions League – until being knocked out by Wydad Casablanca in the semi-finals – Sundowns kept going on the local front.
They were kept on course by skipper Kekana as they won their last five matches in a row to claim the title.
He netted in a 3-2 win over Chippa United, and opened the scoring again in the crucial 2-0 victory against Golden Arrows, which came after the Champions League elimination to Wydad.
Thembinkosi Lorch (Orlando Pirates)
As usual, a foreign player claimed the golden boot – Black Leopards striker Mwape Musonda of Zambia with 16 goals.
But Lorch was joint-second on nine goals, alongside Gift Motupa of Wits and Tshegofatso Mabasa of Bloemfontein Celtic.
The Bafana star scored a brace for Pirates in their 3-0 win over Polokwane City, and has been in top form for club and country.
Lorch has also been nominated for the Player’s Player of the Season and Midfielder of the Season awards.
Themba Zwane (Mamelodi Sundowns)
The Bafana Bafana winger has been a rock for the Brazilians over many seasons, and proved to be just that once more in the 2018/19 season.
He scores vital goals just when Pitso Mosimane’s team needs it, and is a driving force of the attack.
* But many fans must be wondering where is Gaston Sirino, who was outstanding for Sundowns? IOL Sport