Banyana Banyana top goal scorers EVER: Where do Kgatlana & Matlou rank?

Banyana Banyana top goal scorers EVER: Where do Kgatlana & Matlou rank?
Credit: Icon Sport

Nicknamed “Banyana Banyana”, meaning “The Girls”, the South Africa Women’s national football team is the current champion of the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations.

The women’s team’s victory over the Super Falcons of Nigeria and the Atlas Lionesses of Morocco at the women’s AFCON IN 2022 is the country’s first since the men’s team’s triumph at the 1996 AFCON tournament.

A host of amazing players turned out for Banyana Banyana in that tournament held in Morocco, among which was top scorer Hildah Magaia.

Read on to see where she ranks on the list of top scorers for the team.

Hildah Magaia sixth on Banyana Banyana all-time goalscorers list

While the world talks about Thembi Kgatlana, the current captain of Banyana Banyana, Hildah Magaia is a player who manager Desiree Ellis cannot do without.

The forward, who plays in South Korea with Sejong Sportstoto, made her debut for the South Africa women’s national football team in 2018. Compared to the rest of the legends on this list, she is a newbie.

However, she has gone on to amass 30 caps – including every game that the team featured in at the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup – and has scored 19 goals, including the two she scored at the tournament.

She is a brilliant forward and at 28, it is believed she will break into the top three alongside Kgatlana.

The top five goalscorers for Banyana Banyana are below.

Sanah Mollo – 21 goals

Sanah Mollo is a Banyana Banyana defender who plays for the women’s team of South African top-flight side Mamelodi Sundowns.

She has represented the South Africa women’s national team since 2006 but her last appearance for the team was in the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Mollo is not a full-time footballer, which makes her being on this list all the more impressive. She is a degree holder in marketing from the University of Free State and has worked full-time in customer management since the early 2010s.

To play football for either Banyana Banyana or her club, she takes time off work. She is a capable defender whose goal record puts her as one of the best finishers that the South Africa women’s team has ever seen.

Amanda Dlamini – 24 goals

Amanda Dlamini is arguably Banyana Banyana’s best player after the woman who is in the number one spot on this list.

Having played for South Africa between 2007 and 2018 and amassed over 100 caps for the team, the midfielder is one of the legends of South African football. She is now retired and currently works as a broadcaster.

She can be seen on SuperSport Africa and SABC (South Africa Broadcast Company) analysing football matches for both men’s and women’s national teams and clubs.

Thembi Kgatlana – 24 goals

Kgatlana was a Banyana Banyana child prodigy who was given her debut in 2014 at the age of 18. Before then, she had played in a few friendlies for the team.

She is now the current captain of the South Africa women’s football team and has scored 24 goals in her nine years of representing the Rainbow Nation in international football competitions.

At 27, she is expected to add more goals to her tally before she retires, but it is unlikely that she will catch up to the woman in the number one spot.

Noko Matlou – 64 goals

Kgatlana will have to do a whole lot to catch up to the 64 goals scored by Banyana Banyana legend Noko Matlou before attempting to hit the record set by the woman in the number one spot.

Matlou is the first South African to be named CAF Women’s Player of the Year, an award that the Super Falcons striker Asisat Oshoala has a chokehold on (five wins).

Matlou was an all-rounder for South Africa. She played both in attack and in defence and scored beautiful goals from both positions.

She mostly plays in defence now, thanks to the likes of Magaia, Kgatlana and Refiloe Jane who are giving Banyana Banyana a new face on the continent.

She has represented South Africa since 2006 and currently plays for Eibar in Spain.

Portia Modise – 101 goals

Portia Modise is the all-time leading goalscorer for Banyana Banyana. Her 100th goal came back in 2014 when she netted a brace in South Africa’s final group game of that year’s Women’s AFCON tournament.

That goal proved to be important as Banyana Banyana would go all the way to the semi-finals but fall short and end up in fourth place.

Recently retired Super Falcons striker Desire Oparanozie finished as the top scorer in that tournament and Oshoala won the Golden Ball as its best player.

Modise’s goal at the time made her a history-maker in African football – no African player – man or woman – had scored 100 goals.

At the time, Modise became the 13th woman internationally to achieve the feat. Also, at the time, only Ali Daei, the Iranian football legend, had scored 100 goals or more for a men’s national team.

The closest to her record on the continent is Zambia’s Godfrey Chitalu, who played between the 1960s and 1980s and scored 79 goals.

Among living African players from the past and present, only Mohamed Salah, Didier Drogba and Samuel Eto’o have scored over 50 goals for their national team.

This article was most recently revised and updated 9 months ago

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