Malawi National Football Team star striker Gabadinho Mhango continues to make headlines in the international media, which has described his wonder goal against Morocco on Tuesday night as world-class.
Mhango registered his name on the scoresheet just seven minutes into the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) last 16 tie but the goal was not enough to see Malawi through as Morocco came from behind to win 2-1 in Yaounde, Cameroon.
The Flames may have exited the continental showpiece but the goal is still among the major talking points of the competition.
Renowned British online publication Sky Sports described the goal as world-class.
“Malawi went ahead early after a world-class goal from Frank Mhango, who hit a speculative left-footed effort from some 40 metres out and watched in delight as the swerving ball caught out Morocco goalkeeper Yassine Bounou and crashed into the top of the net,” a skysports.com report reads.
The publication also has a video of the goal with the tagline: ‘That’s unbelievable! Malawi’s 40-yard wonder goal!’
France24.com also describes the goal as an incredible world-class effort.
“Malawi’s Gabadinho Mhango stunned Morocco with this incredible effort to give his country the lead in their last-16 match at the Africa Cup of Nations.
“Malawi went ahead early after a world-class goal from Frank Mhango, who hit a speculative left-footed effort from some 40 metres out and watched in delight as the swerving ball caught out Morocco goalkeeper Yassine Bounou and crashed into the top of the net,” writes the publication.
Another British publication givemesport.com reports that Mhango scored one of the best long-range goals to be seen anywhere in 2022.
“From all of 40 yards out, the Orlando Pirates forward took aim and his powerful, swerving shot flew past Sevilla’s Yassine Bounou in the Morocco goal and straight into the top corner to make it 1-0 to Malawi. Wow. Is it possible to hit a football more sweetly than that?
“Probably not and that strike may even be a contender to win the 2022 Fifa Puskas award. There have been some spectacular goals scored at the Africa Cup of Nations in recent weeks, but we really can’t see anything topping Mhango’s effort,” the publication’s report. reads
Thesun.co.uk reports that Mhango scorched a goal any player would be proud of.
“Mhango swerved an outrageous 40-yard opener as minnows Malawi went down fighting at Afcon. It was the latest and greatest moment of high drama at an eventful tournament. And Malawi players and fans went crazy at Mhango’s magical intervention.
“Just seven minutes into the last-16 tie, the 29-year-old spun inside from the left and curved a fierce right-footer into the far top corner. The ball veered inwards from way outside the right post, bypassing the outstretched arms of Morocco’s Sevilla keeper Yassine Bounou on its way into the stanchion,” the report reads.
South Africa’s iol.co.za argues that Mhango’s goal might well be the strike of the Afcon tournament.
“The undoubted highlight of the match was the wonder strike from the 29-year-old Mhango in the seventh minute. With Malawi just beginning to find their rhythm and knocking the ball around, Mhango received the ball on the left wing before he cut infield with Morocco defender Achraf Hakimi on his heels.
“As a second Morocco player ran towards Mhango’s path, the Orlando Pirates forward reeled off a powerful strike from around 40 metres which caught goalkeeper Yassine Bounou off his line as the ball rocketed into the top right hand corner of the net. It was a sensational moment and arguably the highlight of minnows Malawi’s tournament against the second-ranked team in Africa,” the publication reports.
Confederation of African Football TV highlighted Mhango’s effort as the goal of the day.
British journalist Joe Crann tweeted: “Gabadinho Mhango doing Gabadinho Mhango things, too—it’s nice to see the rest of the world getting a look at what he’s got in his locker. Could watch this all day long. Absolutely heavy.”
Also awestricken by the goal was BBC broadcaster John Bennett who tweeted: “Gabadinho Mhango may well be my new favourite footballer.”
Flames technical panel head Mario Marinica described Mhango as a good player.
“I believe Gaba has the potential to play at the highest level. Our game plan happened as we wanted, but I have to admit that we played against a fantastic opponent,” Marinica said.
Mhango is the only Malawi player to have scored at the on-going tournament. He opened his goal account at the showpiece with a brace against Zimbabwe in the Flames 2-1 win, followed by Tuesday’s cracker.