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Richard Mbulu scores thrice in two games, wins Man-of-the-Match award

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ATTRACTING PRAISE—Mhango

Malawi national football team and Baroka FC striker, Richard Mbulu, has started South Africa’s 2020/21 DSTV Premier Soccer League (PSL) season like a house on fire, scoring three goals in two games to shoot to the top of the goalscorers’ chart heading into yesterday evening’s action.

Mbulu has seen his fortunes take a turn for the better after going the entire 2019/20 season without scoring in 26 games.

The former Mafco forward started the season with a goal in Baroka’s 2-1 victory over Maritzburg United on Saturday.

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He followed up his sterling performance with a five star display that saw him score a brace in Baroka’s 3-1 trouncing of Black Leopards in a Limpopo derby on Tuesday night.

Mbulu gave Baroka the lead in the first minute when he beat Leopards goalkeeper King Ndhlovu to a floating ball from Cheslyn Jmpies before heading into an empty net.

He completed his brace in spectacular fashion, thumping the ball home with a low header from Thamsnaga Masiya’s cross in the 44th minute.

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Baroka’s other goal came from Evidence Makgopa whereas Shozi scored an own goal to hand Leopards a consolation.

After the game, the 26-year-old striker said he was excited.

“I am excited with my form. I feel great to have scored the two goals. Last season I was struggling and the going was tough. But I have good support from my compatriot Gerald Phiri Junior and my wife, and things are now looking up,“ Mbulu said.

Mbulu is hoping to follow in the footsteps of fellow Flames striker Gabadinho Mhango who was a joint winner of the Golden Boot award last season.

Mhango shared the accolade with Peter Shalulile after the pair netted 16 goals each.

Flames legend Essau Kanyenda, who is based in the United Kingdom, said Mbulu can compete for the top goalscorers’ award if he maintains his form.

“He has started well and his patience is paying off. Last season he was trying to lift his game but his confidence was down. He could chase and hustle defenders the whole game quite well, but the goals were not coming.

“The owner of Baroka deserves special mention for keeping his faith in Mbulu. I hope the forward will maintain his form throughout the season. He should fight hard to finish the season with the golden boot award,” Kanyenda, who scored 43 goals in 92 appearances for South African sides Jomo Cosmos and Polokwane City, said.

Ahead of Wednesday’s games, Baroka topped the PSL standings with six points from two games.

There were six games with three involving Malawians.

Mhango’s Orlando Pirates were in action against Stellenbosch while coach John Maduka led his Bloemfontein Celtic charges against returnees Moroka Swallows.

Flames defender Limbikani Mzava was expected to make his debut for AmaZulu against newcomers TS Galaxy.

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