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Date: 22 March 2019

  Zimbabwean - Soccer

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Pritchard opens floodgates for Charlton

[Posted 16 Apr 2013]
[By Brighton Mupangavanhu]
Pritchard opens floodgates for Charlton
Zimbabwean midfielder Bradley Pritchard opened the floodgates for Charlton Athletics' 6-0 demolition of fellow Championship team Barnsley in the English second tier league's match on Sunday away at Oakwell Stadium to fly from 14th place to now sit pretty on 9th place on the log.

Pritchard, who has become a permanent feature on the former premiership club Charlton's starting line-up, opened the floodgates of this home massacre of Barnsley early as the 4th minute, signalling the visitors' intent on improving their position on the log.

Yann Kermorgant provided an assist for the goal after his effort was parried by the goalkeeper allowing Pritchard to react faster the Barnsley defence with a tap in.  Kermorgant himself got onto the scoresheet in the 48th minute and contributed an assist in Charlton's second goal scored by Johnnie Jackson in the 19th minute.

Callum Harriotts,

Salim Kerkar and Ricardo Fuller added the other goals to complete the annihilation of Barnsley right before home fans.

Pritchard was quite a handful for the home side, as he not only scored  an opening goal to give his side confidence, but made two assists in the goals scored by Harriots and Fuller in the 59th and 90th minutes respectively.

Charlton are now six points away from Barclays English Premiership play-offs at the end of the season, which could see them back in the topflight after several years of absence from the division of the big boys in England.

The performance of the Zimbabwean will surely re-ignite interest from some premiership teams such as Fulham who have reportedly been monitoring his performance. He is the type of an impact player that any team would want in their circles.

His coach once described him, correctly so, as a player with boundless energy, who never tires and never shies away from challenges. He is the kind of player whom you can throw into the thick of things and gives you a good return for the entire 90 minutes.

Pritchard has an unusually big engine, the very heart of a lion and a real warrior-spirit in his somewhat petite form, and reminds many of players like Michael Essien, Cloud Makelele, Shinji Kagawa and Shaun Wright-Phillips  who belie their height and size and can take on any giant in the game.

The Zimbabwean will be playing in the premiership next season, whether it is following a miraculous qualification by Charlton or with another club. Watch this space!

In other football news involving Zimbabwean players, Lincoln Zvasiya put on a man-of-the-match performance to keep a tight reign on the menacing new Bloemfontein Celtic  forward Roderick Mutuma in Kaizer Chiefs' 1-0 triumph over the Free Staters at Free State Stadium on Saturday night in a Nedbank quarter-final tie.

Zvasiya was almost credited with former Chiefs' defender Dominic Isaacs' own goal which gave Chiefs' a narrow win. Mutuma showed flashes of brilliance through out the match, and without clear cut chances as he was shut-out by the Tefu Mashamaite-Zvasiya marshalled defence, he could only watch in agony as his attempted cheeky-heeler missed the target with Itumeleng Khune a beaten man in the first half.

Striker Kingston Nkhatha, a second half substitute had a hand in the goal as it was his attempted strike which was cleared for a corner kick, beautifully whipped in by the in-form Siphiwe Tshabalala. Zvasiya appeared to have made contact with the ball, but television replays clearly show that Isaacs was forced into conceding a goal.

Earlier on Saturday, Cuthbert Malajila had scored a beauty to open the scoreline in another quarter-final tie between Maritzburg United and Supersport United. Rheece Evans' moment of madness cost the home side dearly as the rallied from behind, beginning with a goal from the silly free-kick he conceded.

Supersport made total use of their numerical advantage and won the match 2-1 in the end to knock the KZN midlands club out of the Nedbank tournament.

Meanwhile, in Denmark, Warriors foward Quincy Antipas' Superliga giants Brondby were pegged back in their fight against  relegation as they were convincingly beaten 3-0 at home by Antipas' former club SonderjyskE in a league match over the weekend.

Borndby are still just a rung above the two automatic relegation spots, but a precariously hanging in there for dear life, as they are tied on 27 points with the two bottom clubs, and are safe by virtue of a superior goal difference of -12, compared to Horsens and Silkenborg's -17 and -25 respective goal differences.

Antipas himself appears to have slowed down his goal scoring progress as he has slipped further down the top goal-scorers' chart and has a paltry 5 goals for a player of his calibre.

Questions mark hand over the correct positioning of gifted Zimbabwean ball-players like Antipas and South Africa-based Khama Billiat who was accused of having missed a glut of chances in Ajax Cape Town's  gallant 2-2 draw against ABSA premiership defending champions Orlando Pirates. This followed after Billiat scored two goals in ten minutes against Free State Stars in the Cape Town side's previous 4-2 league victory.

Is Khama a striker or an attacking midfielder? Is it a correct positioning to play him as a striker, and does this really help his football, or merely contributes to the deflating of his confidence? Billiat appears to be a natural attacking midfielder who chips in with goals from time to time.

Antipas has been used an out and out striker in Denmark. Is this his correct positioning? Should he not rather be deployed as a second striker with a role to provide assists or as right sided midfielder?

Maybe Zimbabwe Warriors' coach Klaus-Dieter Pagels will have to devise a way of getting the best of these gifted players when they are called for national duty. Otherwise there is no doubting their talent which shouts on roof-tops for all to see!


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