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Caf award eludes Gabadihno Mhango

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Malawi National Football Team striker Frank Gabadinho Mhango missed the 2022 Confederation of African Football Goal-of-the-Year award after making the top three.

Senegalese Pape Ousmane Sakho, who plays with Mhango’s compatriot Peter Banda at Tanzanian side Simba SC, was announced winner of the accolade during a gala night in the Moroccan city of Rabat last night.

Mhango failed to travel to the North African nation due to logistical challenges.

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Morocco’s Zouhair Moutaraj was the other player in the top three.

Sakho won the award for scoring a superb goal against Asec Mimosas in the Caf Confederation Cup.

In a message posted on his Facebook account earlier yesterday, Mhango said he was not bitter with failing to attend the event, saying the best moment of his life was when he first donned the Flames jersey.

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“I am grateful to the FA and my club Amazulu for trying their best to make a plan for me to make it to the awards ceremony but it proved difficult,” he wrote.

Football Association of Malawi (Fam) president Walter Nyamilandu Manda, who attended the awards ceremony, said he was disappointed that Mhango did not win.

“We had high hopes that Gaba would win it but tough luck. But the goal will still remain a superb strike in the history of African football. It is an honour just for his goal to be nominated as one of the best in 2022.

“This should inspire Gabadinho and other Malawians to aim high in the game so that they excel and compete against the best in the world,” Nyamilandu said.

The goal that took Mhango this far was his stunning strike in the Flames’ 2-1 loss to Morocco in the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals round-of-16 in Cameroon early this year.

Caf had indicated that fans votes would contribute 70 percent in deciding the winning goal.

The Amazulu striker scored three goals during the Afcon finals including a brace in a 2-1 victory over Zimbabwe in the group stages.

He currently has two goals in the 2024 Afcon qualifiers having scored a brace in a 2-1 win against Ethiopia at Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe.

Senegal and Bayern Munich superstar Sadio Mane won the Player-of-the-Year award for the second consecutive year while Nigerian Asisat Oshoal won the women’s accolade.

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