Remembering Powerlines FC and the Heaviest Cup Defeats in South African Football History

Remembering Powerlines FC and the Heaviest Cup Defeats in South African Football History

Jarryd Westerdale
February 21, 2024 at 7:28 AM
In this article:
Mamelodi Sundowns logo
Mamelodi Sundowns
South Africa
AmaZulu logo
South Africa
Moroka Swallows FC logo
Moroka Swallows FC
South Africa
  • Powerlines FC were on the end of the largest winning margin in a cup match
  • South Africa has three cup competitions with varying qualification criteria
  • Mamelodi Sundowns were the team that inflicted the jarring scoreline

Mamelodi Sundowns are through to the next round after a convincing victory over a spirited NB La Masia.

After reaching a point where their opponents are well-beaten, many teams take their foot off the gas, as Masandawana did in their 6-1 win.

Other teams have not been so merciful, hammering home their superiority at every given opportunity.

Powerlines FC, Mamelodi Sundowns, margin of victory, 24-0, Hellenic, Golden Arrows, AmaZulu.
The Powerlines FC team photo before their infamous Nedbank Cup Round of 32 clash against Mamelodi Sundowns. Photo: @MelodyMiyaVibe.
Source: Twitter

Sports Brief looks back at the biggest winning margins from any of the sponsored interactions of the Nedbank Cup, Carling Knockout or MTN8.

Biggest defeats in South African football

1. Moroka Swallows vs Winter Roses

The mid-seventies was a golden era for Moroka Swallows. En route to winning the 1975 BP Top 16, the Dube Birds are claimed by the PSL to have beaten amateurs Winter Roses, 11-0.

Swallows would play a star-studded Kaizer Chiefs in the final, a team that even featured Brazilian legend Jairzinho. Moroka Swallows gives a detailed report of their 5-3 aggregate win.

2. AmaZulu's two 16-0 wins

10 years apart, AmaZulu handed out two cup beatings that would stand as the benchmark of embarrassment for almost 25 years.

In an all-KZN tie, Usuthu beat Bizana Lucky Stars 16-0 in the Benson and Hedges Cup in 1976, as per Kickoff. Port Elizabeth's Ford Pirates would suffer the same scoreline in 1986, however, in neither year would AmaZulu lift the trophy.

3. Cup final humiliation

Large scorelines in early rounds are more common as the draw throws out mismatches. One-sided finals are less likely, given that they would be considered among the best in the competition at the time.

Ajax Cape Town had beaten both Soweto giants on the way to the MTN8 final on October 24, 2009. They then took a 6-0 beating at the hands of Golden Arrows.

That would pale in comparison, as one team is guilty of conceding 14 goals across a two-legged final. RSSSF lists Hellenic demolishing Maritzburg 5-0 at home and then 9-1 away in the 1971 Coca-Cola Shield final.

4. The name synonymous with defeat

'Powerlines FC' became a slur following the Northern Cape amateurs' ruthless assault by Sundowns. The BBC reported coach Johan Neeskens' explanation of the mentality that he insisted on in that 90 minutes, saying:

"There was no 'gallery' football because they know I will not tolerate that. My instructions were to score as many goals as possible. What I really admired was the way the team kept it simple even when dominant."

Hlompho Kekana scored seven goals, Nyasha Mushekwi scored six and Richard Henyekane five as Masandawana registered a record 24-0 drubbing in 2012.

Biggest South African Cup upsets

Sports Brief recently compiled a list of the five biggest Nedbank Cup upsets of the last 15 years.

NB La Masia were the first team to attempt such a feat in 2024 but fell short against Sundowns.

Milford FC will be the next to try to topple a big name when they play Kaizer Chiefs on February 25.

Jarryd Westerdale photo
Jarryd Westerdale
Jarryd Westerdale (based in Johannesburg) joined Sports Brief after four years in the community journalism sphere. He is a two-time Alet Roux Award winner and was a finalist in multiple categories at the Forum of Community Journalism Excellence Awards.