Mamelodi Sundowns sets a new DStv Premiership unbeaten record of 32 matches by defeating Stellenbosch FC 3-1 on Wednesday night. However, another significant milestone was achieved during this match.
Youngest Scorer in PSL Era
Siyabonga Mabena, a 16-year-old player, became the league’s youngest scorer in the Premier Soccer League (PSL) era. Mabena, who had made four league and one Nedbank Cup appearances in the second half of last season, was playing in his third match in all competitions this campaign. He came off the bench at Lucas Moripe Stadium and scored Downs’ 90th-minute third goal.
At 16 years, seven months, nine days old, he surpassed Siyanda Xulu’s previous record, set in 2009, for Downs’ youngest scorer by 478 days. He also became the youngest scorer in the league since the Premiership was launched in the 1996-97 season. The previous youngest was Thulani Ngcepe, who scored on debut for Silver Stars in January 2007 aged 16 years, 11 months, 21 days.
Mamelodi Sundowns Sets New Record
The youngest scorer in professional football was Mkhanyiseli Siwahla, who scored when he became South Africa’s youngest debutant, aged 15 years, five months and 22 days in a 3-0 Absa Cup win for Ajax Cape Town against Dynamos in 2004.
The youngest scorer in the league in all eras was Steve Lekoelea at 16 years, seven days, in 1995, during the pre-PSL period.
Mabena made his first Premiership appearance of the 2023-2024 season during this match. He replaced Thapelo Maseko in the 86th minute with Downs having fought back from being down by one goal to leading by one. Four minutes later, he tapped in a goal after a layoff from Downs’ goal ace Peter Shalulile.
Sundowns coach Rulani Mokwena praised Shalulile — the captain on the night as Themba Zwane continues his return from injury — for his unselfishness. He passed to Mabena when he could have taken a shot himself.
Mabena started making a name for himself by scoring nine goals, including five against Seychelles, in the 2022 Cosafa U-17 Championship in Malawi to help South Africa finish runners-up. A Downs academy product who was at one stage the subject of a tussle for his services with Orlando Pirates, he was promoted to the Brazilians’ U-19 team when he was 15 and drafted into the senior side at 16 by Mokwena in the second half of last season.
Sundowns beat Kaizer Chiefs’ record of 31 matches unbeaten, set in 2005, against Stellies. The Brazilians also equalled Chiefs’ record of eight wins from the start of a league season.