How Premier Soccer League's Scoring Has Declined in Recent Seasons of South Africa’s Top Flight

How Premier Soccer League's Scoring Has Declined in Recent Seasons of South Africa’s Top Flight

Byron Pillay
updated at May 21, 2024 at 6:25 AM
In this article:
South Africa Premier Soccer League logo
ZA Premier League
South Africa
Mamelodi Sundowns logo
Mamelodi Sundowns
South Africa
Orlando Pirates logo
Orlando Pirates
South Africa
  • The 2023/24 season could go down as the lowest-scoring season in Premier Soccer League history
  • Mamelodi Sundowns remain one of the highest-scoring teams from their recent league campaigns
  • Orlando Pirates star, Tshegofatso Mabasa, is the PSL's current top scorer, having netted 15 times

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Has the quality of goal-scoring diminished in South African football?

The scoring stats from this season’s DStv Premiership suggest that the teams have either improved defensively or that attacks lack the same clinical edge.

The number of goals scored in the Premier Soccer League over the seasons have dropped from previous highs.
Tshegofatso Mabasa is the DStv Premiership's leading scorer with 15, but the number of goals scored per season in the Premier Soccer League has dropped. Image: @KickOffMagazine/ @UnplayableZA.
Source: Twitter

So, how do this season’s statistics compare to previous seasons in the Premier Soccer League (PSL)? Sports Brief examines them.

Scoring facts about the PSL

What’s the highest number of goals scored in a single season?

Founded in 1996, the PSL has provided plenty of entertainment for football lovers.

In the 1999/2000 season, fans were treated to 823 goals. That season, there were 18 teams, as opposed to the 16 that now contest the league.

Mamelodi Sundowns won the league that season, scoring 68 goals, but it was Orlando Pirates who stole the show, scoring 72 times. Daniel Mudau topped the scoring charts with 15 goals that season.

In a 16-team league, the record for most goals in a season is 602, scored in the 2010/11 season.

What’s the least number of goals in a single season?

In the past 10 seasons, the 2021/22 season will be remembered as producing the least number of goals.

479 goals were scored by the 16 teams, with Sundowns scoring 56 goals in 30 games.

The next highest-scoring team were Royal AM, who netted 43 times, as per Transfermarkt.

How does this season compare?

Despite the amount of talent in the league, this season has been slow in terms of goals.

With nine games to go, only 469 goals have been scored.

Sundowns once again lead the way, scoring 51 goals so far. They have two games to go.

11 goals will have to be scored in the final games to ensure that this season doesn’t rank as the lowest. The current top scorer is Pirates’ Tshegofatso Mabasa, who has netted 15 times.

Goals scored in the past 10 seasons


Goals Scored





















5 talking points ahead of final fixtures

The 2023/24 season of the DStv Premiership is almost at an end.

Nine games remain in the season, with crucial places to be decided.

Sports Brief looks at five talking points ahead of the final PSL games.

Byron Pillay photo
Byron Pillay
Byron Pillay is a sports writer and Head of the Department at Sports Brief (joined in 2022) with over 10 years of experience in community journalism and a degree in journalism from Caxton's Cadet School.
South AfricaDStv Premiership