It was a case of so close yet so far for Kaizer Chiefs as the season that was pregnant with possibilities ended in tears on Saturday.
After topping the table for 13 full months, Chiefs were finally dethroned by familiar foes and rivals Mamelodi Sundowns on the final day of the season.
Amakhosi needed to beat Baroka in order to clinch their first title in five seasons but they could only manage a point while Sundowns beat Black Leopards in another match.
This is unbelievable and devasting to the millions of supporters of Chiefs fans who had hoped to witness their beloved team win something after so much hard work was done throughout the season.
When the season started, no one gave Chiefs a chance to challenge for the league title after finishing outside the Top 8 last term but that perception changed after a few games as it became evident they were willing to take the bull by the horns and silence their critics.
The management did the business by signing the players Ernst Middendorp requested - some players delivered while others failed to live up to expectations.
The arrival of the likes of Samir Nurkovic, Kearyn Baccus and Lazarous Kambole gave Chiefs hope as the team played with direction and started winning matches convincingly.
While Middendorp's tactics were often criticised, the fact that Chiefs were winning made those calls irrelevant.
But now, what's next for the Glamour Boys?
Amakhosi have no option but to dust themselves down and try again next season.
Of course, the trophy drought continues but they just have to keep trying and bolster the squad with better players provided they win their appeal against the transfer ban handed to them by Fifa in February.
For the management, some big decisions have to be made - some players didn't do enough to be in the team next season and ideal players have to be brought in to help the team win trophies.
The upcoming season will be even tougher with the CAF Champions League and all domestic competitions on the menu.
And these commitments will require a bigger squad with quality players - Chiefs aren't just any team and if they are to bring back the glory days then they will have to perform like a big team and approach the transfer market like a big team.
Mamelodi Sundowns are dominating local football because of how they have mastered the art of signing quality players and keeping the core of their team.
Orlando Pirates tried to match that but they reshuffled the squad way too much in the past three seasons and that unsettled them.
Now, Chiefs need to learn from their own rivals in order to be a force to be reckoned with next season.
This season, they showed just how determined and serious they were about winning the league and this setback mustn't deter them and stop them from trying.
How they approach next season will be crucial but the players would need the backing from the supporters in order to achieve the objective of winning the league. - goal.com