By Williams Gondwa And Ronald Mpaso:
In-form Malawi national football team striker, Gabadinho Mhango, continued with his outstanding performance for South African Premier Soccer League giants Orlando Pirates as he scored the lone goal which helped the Buccaneers collect full points in a 1-0 win over Mamelodi Sundowns on Wednesday night.
Fresh from scoring a hat trick during the 4-1 victory against Polokwane City last week, where he was also named man of the match, Mhango took his goal scoring tally in the league to 11 to continue leading the scorers chart.
The Malawian has now
managed to score seven league goals in four consecutive matches.
At the Orlando Stadium in Johannesburg on Wednesday, Mhango scored in the 30th minute of the match after beating two Sundowns defenders.
After the match, Mhango was deservedly named Man-of-the- Match and thanked his teammates for putting up a gallant fight.
He praised Pirates fans for patronising the match in large numbers, saying they helped in galvanising the team.
“Credit should go to our supporters who are patronising each and every game in large numbers. This is giving us the energy to continue fighting. All I want is to help the club win matches. At Pirates, we work as a team and we will continue working hard to achieve our goals,” Mhango said.
He was also quoted by kickoff.com as claiming that Pirates had adapted quickly to Coach Josef Zinnbauer’s system.
“I thank God, my teammates, the Orlando Pirates supporters. It’s something that we planned from training because everybody was putting 150 percent effort, congrats to the team,” Mhango told SuperSport TV after receiving his Man-of-the-Match accolade.
He insisted that the Buccaneers are motivated by Zinnbauer’s ideas and are on a mission to climb up the ladder.
“It’s something that he came with new system, a new plan, we just adapted quickly. As a team we know what we need because we have been struggling but now we’re trying our best, we want to catch up with [teams] up there. Credit to the fans for coming in numbers, giving the support, it’s a blessing to us as players,” the Rumphi-born goal poacher said.
Mhango is one goal ahead of second-placed AmaZulu striker Bongi Ntuli who is also eyeing the golden boot award.
Highlands Park and Kaizer Chiefs attackers Peter Shalulile and Samir Nurkovic are tied on third position with nine goals apiece.
Flames assistant Coach, Lovemore Fazili, described Mhango as a top player capable of helping the team to do well in various competitions.
“Gabadinho is undoubtedly our top player now. It is our wish as national team coaches to have this kind of performance during our assignments. Our hope is that he will continue working hard and become even better,” Fazili said.
Meanwhile, Pirates fans have released a song in praise of the former Big Bullets star.
The five-minute Zulu track highlights the three goals he scored against Polokwane City last weekend.
In another development, a leading South African soccer magazine called Soccer Laduma has named Mhango its player of the week for his recent five-star performances.
Soccer Laduma also releases its readers’ team of the week every Monday and the line-up has Mhango partnering Ntuli upfront.
Pirates are on position five in the Absa premiership with 27 points from 17 matches.