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HomeDStv PremiershipGolden Boot Race Is Heating Up

Golden Boot Race Is Heating Up

This year’s Golden Boot race is heating up, with seven players only separated by two strikes, even though no player seems to come close to the 20-goal mark.

We are fast approaching the end of the DStv Premiership season, with just a handful of games to be played, and the race is heating up in who will win the 2022/23 Lesley Manyathela Golden Boot award.

It hasn’t been one of those league campaigns where an individual has raced clear at the top, and unsurprisingly it is last year’s winner, Peter Shalulile, setting the pace.

Peter Shalulile (Mamelodi Sundowns) 11 goals (19 appearances)

The Namibian marksman scored 23 last season, so he might be a bit disappointed with his numbers in this league campaign. However, it should be noted that due to injury, he has only started 17 games this time around, whereas in 2021/2022 he started all 30 league fixtures. Sundowns have three more games to play, and so the 29-year-old should have opportunities to improve his tally. He has scored two braces so far in the league and showed he is in scoring form after grabbing another double this past weekend in the CAF Champions League.

Bradley Grobler (SuperSport United) 10 goals (25 appearances)

The SuperSport veteran is a serious contender for the Golden Boot and really could be at the top of the list. He missed a penalty last week and has squandered a few other opportunities, and has only scored once in the last two months. But with SuperSport having three games remaining, and in a battle for a second spot, Grobler could just find his scoring boots in time to mount a real push for another top-scorer award.

Monnapule Saleng (Orlando Pirates) 10 goals (18 appearances)

Saleng scored his 10th league goal of this season last weekend against Cape Town City, and it really has been a great first season in the Pirates’ squad for the former Free State Stars player. After spending the last year on loan at Swallows, Saleng has really made a big impact in this campaign. His goal tally includes a brace against Golden Arrows last year and a hat-trick against Swallows in March. After his match-winning performances saw Pirates win the MTN8, he must be the leading candidate for the MTN8 Last Man Standing award, and now with four games to play, he is just one goal behind Shalulile, and could potentially challenge for another individual award.

Ranga Chivaviro (Marumo Gallants) 9 goals (17 appearances)

Chivaviro has been a revelation for Gallants this campaign, and especially since the turn of the year, scoring goals both domestically and on the continent, 15 in all competitions. The 30-year-old is having one of his best seasons, and proving that if given opportunities, and trusted, he will score. He scored a brace against Cape Town City last year and earlier this month he grabbed a hat-trick against Chippa United.

Etiosa Ighodaro (Chippa United) 9 goals (22 appearances)

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The 21-year-old Nigerian has been so key for Chippa this season, and the Eastern Cape team must be thanking their lucky stars for Ighodaro. He has earned them so many of their points in this tough season, six of his goals came in games where Chippa earned points, and those performances have seen him draw attention from clubs both local and abroad. 

Cassius Mailula (Mamelodi Sundowns) 9 goals (17 appearances)

How refreshing it is to see two 21-year-olds on this list. Joining Ighodaro is Mailula, who has had an absolute stormer of a debut season in senior football, scoring regularly, including a brace against Maritzburg United last year. He seems a shoo-in for the Young Player of the Season. With three fixtures to play, he could even still challenge his teammate in this Golden Boot race. 

Khanyisa Mayo (Cape Town City) 9 goals (23 appearances)

Mayo started the season well but had a bit of a dry spell mid-campaign. However, he seems to have found his scoring boots of late, and has added five goals since the start of March, including a brace against Marumo Gallants, to rocket up the top goal-scorers list. City also have four games to play, and if they are going to push for a top-four spot, Mayo will have to contribute and could make a late surge for that top-scorer spot.

While they have a lot to do if they want to catch up, there are three players who are on seven goals – the in-form Iqraam Rayners, CalebBonfils Bimenyimana, and Djakaridja Traore. All seven of Rayners’ goals have come this year, and he’s been in incredible form since signing again for Stellenbosch, having also scored six goals in the Nedbank Cup. He could be the dark horse in this race if that form continues.

There are also eight players with six goals (Ashley Du Preez, Sede Dion, Darwin Gonzalez, Junior Mendieta, Pule Mmodi, Amadou Soukouna and Knox Mutizwa) but unless we see a hat-trick or two, it is unlikely there are enough games left for them to get to the top.

This feature was first appeared in the iDiski Times newspaper, Edition 101 and was brought to you by DStv.

Rob Delport
Rob Delport
Rob Delport is a walking football encyclopedia, having been a mainstay in the Cape Town football scene for years. Rob has previously worked for SABC and various websites and publications across Africa, as well as being the South African Head Researcher for Football Manager and doing a similar role occasionally for EA Sports FIFA. Highly respected, Rob is now a senior iDiski Times website and newspaper writer, and is also responsible for the newspaper's editorial.