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Xoki, Lebusa and the best PSL defenders in the 2020/21 season

18:01 SAST 2021/06/13
Tapelo Xoki, AmaZulu FC, March 2021
The 25th PSL campaign saw defenders playing key roles for the teams and it is now time to pick those who shone above the rest

  • Vincent Pule Mosa Lebusa

    Who was the best defender in the PSL?

    Several defenders caught the eye with some great defensive displays during the 2020/21 PSL season. 

    Here, Goal picks the best defenders in the PSL based on their performances in the recent campaign: 

  • MacBeth Kamogelo Mahlangu, TS Galaxy, May 2021

    5. MacBeth Mahlangu

    The teenage sensation emerged from nowhere to become one of the best young players in the PSL and a consistent performer in TS Galaxy's resilient defence.

    A good man-marker with great tackling ability and athleticism, Mahlangu made an immediate adaptation to the top-flight league and he kept a seasoned defender like Bevan Fransman on the bench.

    The 19-year-old's exploits earned him a call-up to the latest South Africa under-23 squad and a PSL Young Player of the Season nomination. 

  • Benni McCarthy & Tapelo Xoki, AmaZulu FC, March 2021

    4. Tapelo Xoki

    The AmaZulu FC defender's transformation from an average PSL defender to one of the best centre backs in the country under coach Benni McCarthy was pleasant to see.

    Xoki produced some strong defensive performances as Usuthu mounted a serious challenge for the PSL title and he also caught the eye as a goalscoring defender having netted five goals as the team's first-choice penalty taker.

    The PSL Goal of the Month award winner's displays helped Usuthu finish the season with the joint third-best defensive record (23 goals conceded) in the league and he was nominated for the league's Defender of the Season accolade. 

  • Nkosinathi Sibisi, Golden Arrows, April 2021

    3. Nkosinathi Sibisi

    The 2020/21 season saw Sibisi establish himself as one of the PSL's top defenders and an inspirational leader as Lamontville Golden Arrows chased a top-three finish in the league. 

    Sibisi was impressed with his tough and uncompromising style of play at the heart of the Arrows defence and he brought his A-game in big matches with the aggressive defender picking up Man of the Match accolades after clashes against Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns.

    His omission from the PSL Defender of the Season nominations raised a few eyebrows, but he was deservedly included in the recent Bafana Bafana squad which faced Uganda in a friendly.

  • Mosa Lebusa, Mamelodi Sundowns, May 2021

    2. Mosa Lebusa

    The Bafana Bafana international's renaissance has been one of the stories of Mamelodi Sundowns' successful season as he initially struggled for game time.

    Lebusa got his big chance after Motjeka Madisha's unfortunate death in December 2020 and he quickly became Masandawana's first-choice centre back ahead of Ricardo Nascimento as he produced outstanding defensive displays.

    The left-footed player was a key member of the best defence in the PSL with Sundowns conceding the least number of goals (14) and he earned himself the league's Defender of the Season nomination. 

  • Njabulo Ngcobo, Swallows FC, March 2021

    1. Njabulo Ngcobo

    The highly-rated defender was sensational in the heart of the Swallows FC defence in what was his debut season in the PSL and he was one of the reasons why the Soweto giants finished in the top eight.

    A tall and robust defender, who excels in the air and on the ground, Ngcobo brought stability and consistency to the Beautiful Birds defence which was key to the team setting a new record for the most draws (20) in a PSL season.

    He deservedly scooped the PSL Defender of the Season accolade, before being handed a late Bafana Bafana call-up as a reward for his amazing maiden season in the elite league.