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Date: 14 December 2018

  Zimbabwean - Soccer

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Zim stars enjoying game-time in foreign leagues

[Posted 04 Feb 2011]
[By Brighton Mupangavanhu]
Kaseke has recovered and marked his return to action with goal during mid-week

As the nation gets ready for preparations to begin in earnest for the tie against Mali in an African Cup of Nations 2012 qualifiers away in Bamako next month, some Zimbabwean players have had fortunes smiling at them in various leagues around the world.

South Africa's ABSA Premiership

In a country that is now ranked 47th best in the world, and a league that is considered the 7th richest in the world, one will find some of the best Zimbabwean soccer brains, to the chagrin of many local journalists who feel that the players must be playing in better leagues in Europe.

The ABSA Premiership is home to probably the hottest soccer prospect the country has, Knowledge Musona who turns out for Glamour club Kaizer Chiefs of Johannesburg. Musona has been in outstanding form this season, and it is little wondeer that he is the current top marksman in the land, having scored 10 goals in 17 matches. In January, Musona only scored once, in the 2-2 draw away at Bloemfontein Celtic last Wednesday.

Kaizer Chiefs is also home to midfield kingpin Tinashe Nengomasha, a player whose game has improved tremendously over the past few months. Zhaimu Jambo is fighting out for a left back position with Punch Masenamela, while Thomas Sweswe's battle for a central defence role with Dominic Isaacs is set to continue until end of the season.

The Chiefs quartet's Compatriot Nyasha Mushekwi has suddenly turned on the magic at former log leaders Mamelodi Sundowns. He has provided goals that have often helped Sundowns to collect points along the way. Last Saturday, Mushekwi scored in the 1-1 draw against Platinum Stars, and scored also on Wednesday when his club defeated Moroka Swallows 2-0, to take his tally to 6 league goals.

Method Mwanjali, another of the four Zimbabweans at Sundowns, got the second goal for the club. It is good to note that Mwanjali, an important Warriors defender has finally managed to pin down a starting berth at the club.  Yet another Zimbabwean player Lionel M'tizwa appears to be winning the favour of his club coaches, and he is beginning to see more action, and on Wednesday, he was replaced only towards the end of the match by fellow Zimbabwean, veteran midfield workhorse and club captain Esrom Nyandoro

Meanwhile, Oscar Machapa battled in struggling Moroka Swallows' colours. Machapa has become a permant feature for Gordon Igesund's side, and the four time championship winning coach appears to have so much faith in the former CAPS united player that he switches the player from right-left-to central midfield roles in search of answers to the winless streak that is frustrating the Dube Birds.

At Ajax of Cape Town, former CAPS United striker Khama Billiart is a regular, and has formed a deadly combination with main striker Terror Fanteni and brilliant midfielder Thulani Serero. Billiart has to date scored 3 goals for the Urban Warriors in the league. Another former Caps star Paul Tafadzwa Rusike and former Gunners midfielder Willard Katsande have had to contend with coming from the bench.

Goalkeeper Tapuwa Kapini of Platinum Stars has been the Dinaledi's unsung hero this season. The former Highlanders keeper has been trusted with the captain's armband in the absence of regular team captain  Stanley Kgatla, in a show of confidence for his growing importance to the club. Kapini was in brilliant form when Stars walloped Mpumalanga Black Aces 3-1 during a mid-week league match. His compatriot Terrence Mandaza is rumoured to be on his way out of the club.

At Amazulu, former Zimbabwe Footballer of the Year Ramson Zhuwawo has been in and out of the Usuthu starting line-up, but his fellow countryman Carrington Nyadombo has been a regular member of the Amazulu defence and has put on some eye-catching performances in the heart of defence.

Cyprus First Division

Warriors right back Noel Kaseke has just returned from an ankle injury which kept him out of action for much of the early season for champions Omonia Nicosia. He marked his return with a goal in a Cup competition, helping his club salvage a 2-2 draw against second division side Atromitos.

Obadiah Tarumbwaís side Enosis defeated Doxa 1-0 in the same competition. Tarumbwa has been making substitute appearances for Enosis, but he is regarded as an important member of the squad.

France's Ligue 2

Former Zimbabwe Under 20 captain Ovidy Karuru has been enjoying game time this season, and has featured on the starting line-ups of US Boulogne for much of this season. On 15 January Karuru even scored in his team's 2-1 victory over Angers, and last Saturday the former Gunners star celebrated his club's 1-0 victory over Nimes in the French Ligue 2. His club is rising up and is on number 10 on the 20 team log, after 21 games. Two goals for a midfielder so far is not a bad return at all.

England' Barclays Premiership and League One

Onismor Bhasera recently had to endure the pain of seeing a deal to join Blackpool which got so close to materialising, during the just-ended transfer window period, go up in smoke at the last minute after the two parties could not agree on Bhasera's personal terms. So, the Zimbabwean midfielder remains on the books of Plymouth Argyle for now. Bhasera is still recovering from an injury he picked up in a League One match against MK Dons a few weeks ago.

In the Barclays Premiership, Benjamin "Benjani" Mwaruwari started the season promisingly, and even fired a double past Liverpool on 5 January 2011, but ever since the arrival of Roque Santa Cruz on loan from Manchester City, Benjani has had to be content with sitting on the bench.

Russia's Premier League

Musa Mguni has arrived in Russia ahead of the new season, but he has not kicked a ball in the Premier League where he will turn out for Terek Grozny in the country's topflight league. Mguni though, showed glimpses of what he will show the Russians when he scored two goals in a friendly match in Metalurh Donetsk colours, just before he left the club for Russia. The Russian soccer season, which runs from March to November, is only due to kick off early March.

Belgium's Jupiler League

There are three Zimbabweans in Belgium's top division. Cephas Chimedza has just joined Westerlo and is yet to regain the match fitness that made him a household name at St' Truiden. Vusa Nyoni's Germinal Beerschot has been struggling of late, and Vusa sat on the bench for the team's last defeat against Club Brugge. Honour Gombami has been on the injury list for Cercle Brugge for a long time now.

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