Malawi national football team star striker, Gabadinho Mhango, has backed his Orlando Pirates teammates to prevail over Bidvest Wits in a Nedbank Cup last 32 match at Orlando Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa, on Sunday.
Mhango will miss the match after collecting four yellow cards this season and will serve his one-match suspension against Wits.
The current Premier Soccer League (PSL) top goalscorer, with an impressive 14 goals, admitted that he would have loved to play against his former team.
“Yeah, it’s true I am not going to feature against Wits. I have accumulated four yellow cards and I am suspended for the game on Sunday,” Goal.com quotes Mhango as telling Far Post.
“We don’t have a midweek game so that’s our next game. I would have really loved to play on Sunday not because it’s against Wits, but because as a player you want to play every game and help the team.”
The former Big Bullets goalpoacher said he believes his teammates can outclass the Clever Boys and secure a place in the Round of 16.
“I trust my teammates and they will do the job on Sunday. I know the guys will do the job,” he said.
Mhango is set to make his return against Robert Ng’ambi’s Black Leopards in a PSL match at Thohoyandou Stadium on February 16.
The encounter will be followed by an eagerly anticipated Soweto Derby against Kaizer Chiefs 13 days later.
Mhango’s suspension continues to make news in the Rainbow Nation where another online publication, SowetanLIVE, reports that Pirates will be forced to look at other options to keep their frontline firing.
“The Malawian international has been operating as a lone striker in coach Josef Zinnbauer’s system and has banged in 14 goals this season. Zinnbauer will look to the bench for someone to raise his hand and lead the team from the frontline. Bucs have strikers Tshegofatso Mabasa, Justin Shonga, Zakhele Lepasa and Augustine Mulenga who they can look to.
“Former Pirates forward Phumudzo Manenzhe shared his observation about who could be the right man to lead the team. When you look at their option, Mabasa stands out as the player who can come in. He carried the team before Mhango found form,” reads the report.
Mhango is on course to win the Golden Boot award in the PSL where he has opened a four-goal gap.
But as the 27-year-old will be watching from the sidelines, several of his compatriots are expected to feature in the cup action for their teams.
Former Flames captain Limbikani Mzava is likely to play as his Highlands Park take on Uthongati tomorrow while another ex-Malawi skipper, now Bloemfontein Celtic assistant Coach, John Maduka, will be in the dugout urging his troops to eliminate AmaZulu.
Ng’ambi could also feature for Leopards in a showdown against NWU Mafikeng on Sunday.
Gerald Phiri and Richard Mbulu’s Baroka will line up against Polokwane City who have Khuda Muyaba and Dennis Chembezi in their books.