Promising South Africa striker Lesley Manyathela was killed in a car accident on Saturday night, just hours after he had scored for his club Orlando Pirates in a cup match.

The 21-year-old, who had been on trial at French champions Lyon earlier in the week, died instantly when his car overturned near his home town of Musina (formerly Messina) in Limpopo, club officials said on Sunday.

Two companions were injured, one seriously, police added. No other vehicle was involved in the accident, which occurred at 22h30.

Manyathela, the leading goal scorer in South Africa's premier league last season, was driving home after playing for the Pirates in a Super Eight Cup quarter-final in Johannesburg, where he scored in a 2-1 defeat by Jomo Cosmos.

Manyathela had just returned to South Africa after his unsuccessful trials at Lyon, where he failed a medical.

He had also been at Greek club OFI Crete and was due to go on to Dynamo Kiev in the Ukraine.

Manyathela won nine caps for South Africa, scoring three goals, after making his debut in March last year while still only 20 years old.

He was a prolific goalscorer for South Africa's under-23 team, currently involved in qualifiers for the 2004 Athens Olympics.

He won two league tiles in three years, making his professional debut in September 2000 aged 19. In 63 league and cup games in South Africa, he scored 40 goals.