Premiership leaders Mamelodi Sundowns ran riot against a hapless Powerlines FC outfit, storming to a record 24-0 victory in a Nedbank Cup clash in Kimberley on Sunday.
Sundowns led 10-0 at half-time against their amateur opponents, and stormed clear in the second period to state their intent, progressing to the last 16 of the knockout competition.
The scoreline improved the previous record winning margin of 16-0 in South African top-flight domestic competition, which had stood for 36 years.
Hlompho Kekana netted seven times to lead the charge, with Nyasha Mushekwi bagging six goals and Richard Heynekane pitching in with five strikes.
Downs coach Johan Neeskens said the visitors had opted not to sit back in the latter stages, out of respect for their hosts, the spectators and the competition.
“We must respect all teams in the Nedbank Cup,” Neeskens said.
“We must always play the best we can and score as many goals as possible.
“We also need to entertain the fans.”
In the lead
Kekana and Henyekane scored in rapid succession early on, netting twice each to give Downs a 4-0 lead after 20 minutes.
Kekana found the back of the net again with a diving header for his hat-trick, only half an hour in, but Mushekwi then stole the show.
The Zimbabwean showed no mercy, finishing off with complete control to bag five goals in the space of 23 minutes, trashing any hope the hosts had of fighting their way back into the game.
Holding an unassailable lead, Sundowns held nothing back in the second half as they mercilessly stretched the gap.
Mushekwi scored once more before he was taken off, and Kekana spearheaded the dominant attack, bagging another four goals in the second stanza.
Henyekane netted a second-half hat-trick to help seal the visiting side’s stamp on the match.
Debutant Samuel Julies, replacement Lebohang Mokoena and Elias Pelembe each scored a brace to round things off.
Powerlines, who were left flailing in the first half, fought back in the second period, but they failed to take advantage after breaking through the Downs defence on a few occasions.
Coach Cornelius Brandt said his side would hold their heads high despite their thumping defeat.
“Our heart and our spirit is not broken,” Brandt said.
“This is Mamelodi Sundowns and they’re a good team.
“The clubs in our league will suffer after the experience we got from this game.”
Brandt said he had tried to motivate his players during the break but they were up against a wall.
“I asked them to calm down and to relax,” he said.
“It seems the stage was too big for them and they fell away.” — Sapa