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Date: 24 July 2017

  Zimbabwean - Soccer

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Pritchard stars in Charlton's win in England

[Posted 22 Aug 2012]
[By Brighton Mupangavanhu]
Pritchard enjoying a great start to the English Championship season
Zimbabwe-born attacking midfielder Bradley Pritchard created the first goal in Charlton Athletics' first victory in the Championship, a 2-1 win over seasoned campaigners Leicester City in a league match on Tuesday night.

Pritchard, who played for the entire 90 minutes proved a handful for Leicester, and had his shot on goal saved by the visitors keeper Kasper Schmeichel as early as the 8th minute.

He was the provider when Bradley Wright-Phillips found the opener for Charlton in the 18th minute.

Bradley was a thorn in the flesh for the visiting team and an unsung hero of the night for Charlton, as he was fouled a good number of times, including free-kicks he earned after unfair challenges from Matty James and Lloyd Dyer on either side of the break.

Yann Kermorgant scored Charlton's second goal in the 32nd minute to give the home side a 2-0 lead. Leicester tried to make amends in the second half, reducing the deficit in the 53rd minute, but Pritchard and company fought hard to earn their full set of points on the night.

Pritchard even had to make a frantic clearance in the 93rd minute to deny Leicester an equalising goal after a dangerous corner kick taken by Anthony Knockaert from the left.

It remains a mystery what Rahman Gumbo meant by sending the talented midfielder away from camp a few months ago, deeming him not required at the time during the World Cup qualifiers wherein the Warriors performed badly to only emerge with a single point after two matches.

Charlton are joint second on the Championship log together with Sheffield Wednesday who are believed to be eyeing the capture of Nyasha Mushekwi should his move to Germany fail, tied on four points after two matches, trailing leaders Blackpool who are on 6 points.

Zimbabwe needs fighters like Pritchard, an all-round midfielder who is comfortable at defending as much as he is at aiding attack. A combination of Willard Katsande and Pritchard in midfield can do wonders for the national team.

While it can be argued that players ought to fight for their places in the national team, there is not better player who can fill in the central midfield role better than Pritchard can, unless the player struggled to play in a formation employed by Gumbo, which remains questionable anyway.

Zimbabwe needs its best players for national team assignments, and we cannot continue to make use of players who compete in inferior leagues, and exclude those who play competitive football week-in week-out.



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