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Mhango credits Pirates strike partner Memela for his free-scoring form

Gabadinho Mhango (C) is top of the goal scoring charts with 14 strikes.
Gabadinho Mhango (C) is top of the goal scoring charts with 14 strikes.
Image: BackpagePix

Gabadinho Mhango has given credit to strike partner Luvuyo Memela‚ whose service the Orlando Pirates centre-forward says has played a role in his own free-scoring form.

Mhango said Memela is the best playmaker he has been partnered with.

Malawian striker Mhango last week won the Absa Premiership’s Player of the Month award for his rampant scoring form in January‚ notching six goals in five unbeaten games for the Buccaneers.

In all he has scored nine goals in eight games‚ even though he could not add to his tally in the Buccaneers’ last-gasp 1-0 win against Black Leopards at Thohoyandou Stadium on Sunday.

Mhango has credited a positional switch from deep striker or out wide to a role as a marauding centre-forward for his newfound consistency as Bucs have stormed from fifth place to sudden outside challengers for the Premier Soccer League in second position under new German coach Josef Zinnbauer.

He also has recognised the role of Memela at second striker‚ who has hit form in the same period with his creativity and eye for a gap behind Mhango.

“For me‚ I think he’s a top No 10 like I have never seen or played with‚” Mhango said.

“Because he understands football. Sometimes he doesn’t need to look where you are – he’s just going to put the ball [in the right place]. And when I go there I’m going to get that ball.

“So I think credit to him‚ and credit to the team as well.”

Pirates‚ knocked out of the Nedbank Cup in the first round on penalties by Bidvest Wits‚ are out of action this week as other teams contest the season-ending cup competition’s last-16.

Bucs return to action in the big Soweto derby against league leaders Kaizer Chiefs at FNB Stadium on Saturday February 29.

Pirates‚ nine points behind Chiefs‚ but on a run of form in the PSL that has seen them win eight and draw two of their last 10 games‚ can go a long way to becoming real title contenders should they beat Amakhosi in an already long sold-out derby.