Sport

GOAL-SCORING HONOURS

Race for prestigious DStv Premiership top scorer award falls to last day of season

Race for prestigious DStv Premiership top scorer award falls to last day of season
Sirgio Kammies of Chippa United and Tshegofatso Mabasa of Orlando Pirates during the Nedbank Cup semi-final at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium. 4 May 2024. (Photo: Richard Huggard/Gallo Images)

With only a handful of games remaining in the 30-game DStv Premiership season, the race for the top scorer award is extremely tight.

The DStv Premiership title may be safely stowed away at Mamelodi Sundowns’ Chloorkop headquarters, the seventh season in a row it is set to remain there.

However, with three games left for most teams before this league campaign comes to a conclusion, there is still much to play for. Not least the coveted top scorer gong, which is formally known as the Lesley Manyathela Golden Boot.

The accolade was named after Orlando Pirates and Bafana Bafana goal-poacher Lesley Manyathela following his untimely death in a car accident when he was just 21 years old. Manyathela was shaping up to be one of South Africa’s deadliest strikers of all time. He had been top scorer in the season before his death, with 18 goals to his name.

Now the likes of Orlando Pirates striker Tshegofatso Mabasa, Sundowns’ brilliant Brazilian Lucas Ribeiro Costa and Stellenbosch sharpshooter Iqraam Rayners are chasing the accolade. SuperSport United veteran Bradley Grobler is also in the mix. As is last season’s joint top-scorer, Khanyisa Mayo.

Though the race between this season’s leading scorers has been more exciting than the contest for league honours, none of the players chasing the accolade are likely to break the record Premiership mark set by Zambian Collins Mbesuma when he scored 25 goals for Kaizer Chiefs during the 2004/2005 season.

In fact, Mbesuma’s tally is one of just three occasions in the last 20 years that the 2o-goal mark has been reached in the Premiership (PSL).

The other instances were when legendary South African striker Siyabonga Nomvethe scored 20 for Moroka Swallows in 2012. Most recently, Sundowns’ Namibian striker Peter Shalulile fell marginally short of breaking Mbesuma’s record as he scored 23 league goals during the 2021/2022 season.

However, in general, any number of goals slightly above 10 is enough to see someone walk away with the Golden Boot in a season. In this campaign, five players have already breached that goal benchmark.

Tshegofatso Mabasa of Orlando Pirates, top scorer

Tshegofatso Mabasa of Orlando Pirates. (Photo: Richard Huggard/Gallo Images)

Tshegofatso Mabasa — Orlando Pirates (15)

Bloemfontein-born Mabasa started the 2023/2024 season on loan at Moroka Swallows. There he netted six times. Then his parent club Pirates brought him back home in January.

Since his return, playing alongside creative players such as Patrick Maswanganyi, Relebohile Mofokeng and Kabelo Dlamini — he has thrived, adding a further nine goals to his haul this season.

Six more goals could see him match Pollen Ndlanya’s 21-goal league season for Chiefs, which is the highest goal return by a South African in the PSL era.

Iqraam Rayners of Stellenbosch FC, top scorer

Iqraam Rayners of Stellenbosch FC. (Photo: Shaun Roy/Gallo Images)

Iqraam Rayners – Stellenbosch (14)

Also in line to possibly match or even usurp Ndlanya is Stellenbosch star striker Rayners.

The 28-year-old rejoined the Cape Winelands club in 2023 following a miserable two-and-a-half years at SuperSport, where he scored only two league goals in 51 appearances.

In Stellenbosch, the Mitchells Plain-star has been key to the brilliant form of the Maroons this season. Thanks to his goals, they are well-placed for their highest league finish ever.

Lucas Ribeiro Costa of Mamelodi Sundowns, top scorer

Lucas Ribeiro Costa of Mamelodi Sundowns (left) and Abdulrazak Hamza of SuperSport United. (Photo: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images)

Lucas Ribeiro – Mamelodi Sundowns (12)

Sundowns recruited the Brazilian from Belgian second-tier club SK Beveren before the start of the ongoing season. His quality saw him quickly adapt to South African soccer as he scored in his first two Premiership matches.

Since then, he has not looked back, taking over from the off-form Shalulile as the main goal-scoring threat in a Masandawana team stacked with matchwinners.

His scoring exploits are made more impressive by the fact that he has scored 12 goals in just 17 matches, while his rivals have played in over 20 games. He is not a traditional striker, playing mostly as an attacking midfielder.

Khanyisa Mayo,

Khanyisa Mayo of Cape Town City. (Photo: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images)

Khanyisa Mayo – Cape Town City (10)

The Bafana Bafana and City forward won the top scorer award last season as he and Shalulile each scored 12 goals. He may even surpass that mark this season. However, the competition is tighter this campaign.

The fact he has only scored twice in his last 10 league games has not aided his bid to retain his title this season. Considering the form of his opponents, he will likely fall short this time around.

Bradley Grobler of SuperSport United,

Bradley Grobler of SuperSport United (left) and Nyiko Mobbie of Sekhukhune United. (Photo: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images)

Bradley Grobler – SuperSport United (10)

By reaching the 10-goal mark this season, SuperSport striker Grobler rewrote history. He is the first player to score 10 goals in the Premiership over five different seasons.

It is impressive that the 36-year-old has done this while dealing with increasing injury issues. A great testament to his prowess in front of goal. He is also amongst the top five all-time top scorers in PSL history, a list which is headed by Nomvethe. DM

Gallery

Comments - Please in order to comment.

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted

A South African Hero: You

There’s a 99.7% chance that this isn’t for you. Only 0.3% of our readers have responded to this call for action.

Those 0.3% of our readers are our hidden heroes, who are fuelling our work and impacting the lives of every South African in doing so. They’re the people who contribute to keep Daily Maverick free for all, including you.

The equation is quite simple: the more members we have, the more reporting and investigations we can do, and the greater the impact on the country.

Be part of that 0.3%. Be a Maverick. Be a Maverick Insider.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options

MavericKids vol 3

How can a child learn to read if they don't have a book?

81% of South African children aged 10 can't read for meaning. You can help by pre-ordering a copy of MavericKids.

For every copy sold we will donate a copy to Gift of The Givers for children in need of reading support.