Where are the South African Goal Scorers?
South Africans have become known for hosting world class sporting events that have managed to sway people’s perceptions about our African continent, but for some reason we always seem to struggle when it comes to competing and coming out top in whatever sporting code we’re hosting or are a part of. But our hosting of Africa Cup of Nations as well as cricket, rugby and the big football world cup has overshadowed (with the exception of the Springboks) the performance of our national teams on the field – especially in football. Whenever we take to the field doubt and worry capture our minds. Instantly we think of the chokers name tag the Proteas carry while with Bafana Bafana we must always have our calculators in sight as they frequently turn us into mathematicians as we try and figure out the combination of results needed for the team to qualify for the next round of a tournament. And the national U23’s threatened to do that to us once again at the Rio Olympics. Had they won their final match against Iraq then we would have need to bring out integration by parts to work out the margin of victory permutations needed to qualify for the second round. But the reason we end up having to use our calculators in the first place is that our soccer teams – both male and female – just can’t seem to put the ball into the back of the net.
Both Banyana Banyana and the U23’s are coming back home from #Rio2016 empty handed. Why are our national soccer teams struggling to score? Banyana played three Olympic matches without scoring, while the U23’s were only a bit better, scoring one goal in three group stages matches. I mean this is the most dominant sport in South Africa yet we’ve got nothing to show for it. Besides winning the 1996 African Nations Cup and 3 World Cup appearances, what have we got to show for it? The goal-scoring problem is compounded by the fact that if one looks at the PSL, the league’s top goal scorers list over the last decade has been dominated by foreigners. For example, during the 2015/2016 ABSA Premiership Prince Nxumalo of Ajax Cape Town was the top scoring South African marksman with 13 goals. The last South African to score over twenty goals in a PSL season was Siyabong Nomvethe in the 2011/12 season. Bhele Nomvethe is almost forty years old now. Perhaps the problem is that our “big three” PSL” clubs in Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns prefer – understandably – to employ the services of proven strikers, many of whom are foreign? Isn’t it time though that big PSL clubs begin to shoulder some of the responsibility of producing South African strikers? For example, why is Supersport United not promoting talented young striker Khanyiso Mayo to their first team? The son of former Kaizer Chiefs and Umtata Buch Bucks utility player Patrick Mayo, recently won the top goal scorer and player of the tournament award at the Durban U19 International Tournament beating out players from Arsenal and Sporting Lisbon’s U19’s.
We have the talent, we use speed and skill to our favour, our local football is now starting to dominate in the continent thanks to Orlando Pirates showing the 2015 CAF Confederation Cup and 2013 CAF Champions League and now with Mamelodi Sundowns thrashing everyone they come across in the continent. But the question remains, when will our strikers start scoring? Afropolitans are equally puzzled and correctly pointed out that our lack of proven goal scorers cost us at Rio 2016.
@Kaya_Sport I will give them 6/10. They tried. Played well but couldn’t put the ball in the net. Miss Siphelele Ntshangase.
— @Papi Moiloa (@780122) August 11, 2016
— thuso (@RayorSt) August 11, 2016
@Kaya_Sport U23 performances have been phenomenal, awesomely outstanding just that we needed to convert our chances more.
— Kamogelo KamG Mogale (@Kamgizzle) August 11, 2016
What will it take for our national teams to be feared powerhouses in the African continent and throughout the world? We wait with baited breath for the next Benni McCarthy.