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Date: 27 May 2019

  Zimbabwean - Soccer

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Zim players in good form in early 2015/2016 season

[Posted 24 Aug 2015]
[By Brighton Mupangavanhu]
Zim players in good form in early 2015/2016 season

As we draw closer to the second African Cup of Nations qualifier, it is helpful to consider the current form of Zimbabwean players since the beginning of the European soccer season and elsewhere. We look at players playing in leagues in Europe and in the South African ABSA premiership.

In terms of current form, surely Zimbabwean plying their trade in the Netherlands, Belgium and Sweden have done themselves and their country of both proud.

Warriors' striker, often described as the talisman of the national team, Knowledge Musona has struck good form at just the right time. Musona is currently the leading goal scorer in the Belgian Pro- League, with 4 goals from five matches. Encouraging is the quality of the goals the former Hoffenheim man has scored. He notched two goals against Belgian champions Anderletch last week in a 3-1 win for his club KV Oostende. He followed up that feat with a superb winner against Belgian giants Standard Liege last night, scoring the winner in the 78th minute  in a 2-1 away win. KV Oostende currently lead the Pro League log standings with 13 points after five matches.

Forward Nyasha Mushekwi started the season like a whirlwind, notching 11 goals in 12 matches for former Swedish champions Djugardens, leading the scoring charts for a while. On his own admission, his form has now been affected by the uncertainty regarding his future, with parent club Mamelodi Sundowns apparently placing a huge asking price on his head (R15 million) and thus frustrating his current club's desire to turn the current loan deal into a permanent move. Mushekwi is now two goals behind two other players in Sweden. He remains a striker on form, despite the seven-match dry spell.

In Netherlands, Marvelous Nakamba has matured into a player who commands a starting berth in the Dutch Eredivisie (league) side Vitesse. The Warriors and Young Warriors midfielder has appeared on the starting line-ups for Vitesse in the 1-1 draw against Willen II, in a 3-0 win over Roda JC and the 0-2 away loss to Feyenord on Sunday. Nakamba also appeared in the club's Europa league matches against English side Southampton which the Dutch club lost.  

Attacking midfielder/Forward Matthew Rusike hit the road running in Sweden, where he turns out for Halmstad. Last week he scored in a 2-1 Svenska cup first round win against Trellebog FF. On Sunday Rusike scored in his club's 2-2 draw with Orebro in the Allsvenskan (league) match. He has been utilised as a striker over the past three seasons by former club Kaizer Chiefs and now at Halmstad.

Gangly defender Costa Nhamoinesu has been a regular for Sparta Praha in the Czech Republic. On Thursday last week Nhamoinesu was among the goals, scoring for his club in a 3-1 UEFA Europa League match win against Swiss club Thun. On Sunday he featured in Sparta Praha's 2-0 Liga win over Dukla Praha.

Still in Europe, Young Warrior's striker Tino Kadewere scored in Djugardens' Svenska cup first round 5-1 win against  Torstops on Thursday night. That was the young striker's first competitive match in Durgadens colours after recently moving from Harare City.

In Denmark, Silas Songani has appeared mostly from the substitutes bench in SonderjyskE's early good form in the league. His club is currently lying second on the Danish Super League table, despite a 1-0 away loss to Brondby on Sunday. Songani replaced Marc Pedersen in the 65th minute on Sunday in the loss, to leave SonderjyskE lying second on the log. 

In South Africa, the following performances are worth noting. Versatile defender Eric Chipeta, has been deployed as a right back for Chippa United and has done a very decent job, whipping many quality crosses, breaking attacks on the left channel of the opposition, and starting offensive play for his club on the right side of midfield for his club, notably in league matches against Kaizer Chiefs and recently against Orlando Pirates. Another versatile defender Partson Jaure has quietly gone out to do his job in the heart of University of Pretoria defence, with compatriot Washington Arubi proving why he is regarded as one of the best goalkeepers in South Africa.  Warriors captain and central midfielder Willard Katsande is as evergreen as he has proven to be for Kaizer Chiefs over the last three years. The midfielder featured prominently in his club's 4-0 victory over Liberty Chakoroma's Free State Stars. Chakoroma, the Young Warriors and Warriors defender scored an unfortunate own goal in that match. Attacking midfielder Ovidy Karuru whose career has slowed down at Chiefs, replaced Bernard Parker after the 80th minute.

Tendai Ndoro featured in Orlando Pirates' loss to Supersport United in their first match of the season, after scoring a penalty in the lottery victory over Kaizer Chiefs in the Black Label Carling Cup, a season opener in South Africa.  Underrated and almost forgotten Zimbabwean defender Onismor Bhasera has been consistently doing a great job on the left side of defence for Bidvest Wits in the ABSA premiership, and yet has been consistently overlooked for selection, despite his availability for the Warriors. Cuthbert Malajila and Khama Billiat have picked up from where they left last season for Mamelodi Sundowns. On Saturday, Malajila scored a brace in a 4-2 victory over Bhasera's Wits. Billiat provided an assist and scored a goal himself.

Good news coming from Maritzburg United is that rising star Evans Rusike finally received his work permit and was able to feauture in the starting line-up of his team against Ajax Cape Town. The former Hwange FC man was replaced by compatriot Khumbulani Banda in the second half. Left back/midfielder Milton Ncube featured in that league match for Ajax. Some Zimbabwean players are currently not seeing action due to work permit delays. These include young striker Charlton Mashumba and former Wits midfielder Denver Mukamba, both of newly promoted Jomo Cosmos. The same fate has kept new signings goalkeeper George Chigova and former Amazulu defender Carlington Nyadombo out of action for Polokwane City in the last two league matches.



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