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Orlando Pirates acknowledge Gabadinho Mhango form

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South African giants Orlando Pirates have acknowledged striker Gabadinho Mhango’s return to top form for the Malawi National Football Team.

Mhango scored four times for the Flames in four matches in a move that is likely to see him returning to Pirates’ starting lineup.

The former Nyasa Big Bullets star started his revival with a goal in Malawi’s 2-1 win over Comoros in a warm up match in Saudi Arabia ahead of the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon).

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He continued his scoring form with two goals in the Flames 2-1 victory over Zimbabwe before registering his name on the scoresheet again with a cracker in the 2-1 loss to Morocco.

Pirates’ website reports that Mhango was an unprecedented success as he helped Malawi to their second victory in the tournament in what was only their third appearance in the continental finals.

“The Buccaneers striker provided both goals for Malawi in their group stage campaign, as he netted a brace against Zimbabwe, leading his side to a third place finish in Group B. That was enough to qualify for the knockout rounds, where they faced a daunting task, coming up against one of the pre-tournament favourites in Morocco in the Round of 16.

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“Mhango’s red-hot scoring form continued as he opened the scoring for the Flames with a stunning seventh-minute strike. However, the Atlas Lions staged a comeback to emerge 2-1 victors on the night,” reads part of a report on orlandopiratesfc.com.

Before joining the Flames for the Cameroon trip, Mhango had made just six appearances in all competitions at club level and was yet to find the back of the net.

However, Pirates activated an option to extend his contract, which could have expired in June, by another year.

The Buccaneers’ former striker Andries Sebola said the club did well to keep Mhango despite battling for form.

Sebola said he believes that Mhango’s Afcon performance may have given him the confidence to perform better at club level when action resumes next weekend.

“Even when he went to the Afcon, he said: ‘I want to go there and prove my critics wrong and also regain my form of scoring goals.’ You could see how he believes in himself and there are so many scouts in the tournament and you will find that one of them or one of the teams could be interested in his services.

“Pirates will now benefit if there is an overseas team that wants him. As I said, it is a nice move for them to activate that option to extend. The boy is talented and can score from where people are not expecting him to score. You could see he is a fighter and defenders feel him when he is around,” he told sowetanlive.co.za.

Mhango is expected to form a deadly partnership with Ghanaian Kwame Peprah should Pirates give him a chance.

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