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Musona can surpass Peter Ndlovu's scoring record

by Staff reporter
27 Mar 2019 at 15:27hrs | Views
WARRIORS captain Knowledge Musona is showing all the attributes that he can surpass legendary Peter Ndlovu's all-time goal scoring record for Zimbabwe.

Ndlovu, who was known as the Flying Elephant during a glittering career that saw him play for the Coventry in the English Premier League in the early 90s, was able to score 38 goals in 100 caps for the Warriors. Now 46, Ndlovu remains one of the best players to have donned the Warriors shirt since independence in 1980.

However, Musona is heading on a trajectory that will see him likely surpass the mercurial Ndlovu's record that has now stood since 2007 when he last represented the national team.

Musona was on target for the Warriors on Sunday in the 2-0 victory over Congo at the National Sports Stadium which saw the side secure their place at this year's Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals to be held in Egypt.

It was a beautiful goal from the 28-year-old, who capitalised on some poor play from the visitors' goalkeeper Wolfrigon Mongondza and defender Fernand Mayembo, before unleashing a half volley into the bottom corner of the net. What was more compelling is the fact that Musona was half-fit for this match as a nagging groin injury had threatened to rule him out of the encounter.

Warriors' team doctors had given him a probability of lasting for only 60 minutes but he ended up playing for 77 minutes before he was replaced by Talent Chawapihwa. The strike against the Red Devils was Musona's 22nd goal in a Warriors' shirt from 34 caps and there is no doubt that more goals are in store.

He also finished as the top goal scorer in Group G with five strikes from six games including a hat-trick against Liberia at the same venue back in 2017. Nigeria's Odion Ighalo was the overall top scorer during these qualifiers with nine goals while Burundi's Fiston Razak was second with seven strikes.

The hot scoring streak during these 2019 Afcon qualifiers means Musona is now just seven goals behind Benjani Mwaruwari, who is in second place on the Warriors' all-time goal scorers list with 29 strikes. Musona, who is on loan at Belgian side Lokeren from Anderlecht, can easily overhaul Mwaruwari's lead considering that the Warriors will soon start taking part in Fifa-sanctioned friendly internationals before they leave for Egypt for the Afcon finals which will start on June 21 and end on July 19.

If Musona scores in such matches, the goals will go under his name and will draw him further towards Mwaruwari's mark.  
In Egypt, Zimbabwe is guaranteed to play three group matches and in the event the team progresses to the knockout stages that number will also increase.

The qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar are also set to start in October this year giving Musona more ample matches to add to his Warriors tally. One cannot stop wondering how many goals Musona could have been on if Zimbabwe had not been banned by Fifa from taking part in qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup which was held in Russia.

Due to the Warriors lowly Fifa rankings, the team would have commenced the qualifiers in the first round where they would have played two matches.In the second round another two matches were in store and if the Warriors had progressed to the final group stages, another six matches were on the offer.

This means Musona and his current teammates were prejudiced at least 10 international caps by the Zimbabwe Football Association's failure to pay former coach Valinhos which attracted the Fifa ban. Musona can end the year as Zimbabwe's second all-time best scorer if he continues with his current form in the Warriors jersey considering all the matches that are lined up this 2019.

It is the prospect of overhauling Ndlovu as Zimbabwe's all-time top scorer that is likely to drive the former Hoffenheim and Kaizer Chiefs striker. Speaking shortly after the win over Congo, the Aces Youth Soccer Academy graduate opined that the current crop of Warriors players cannot be compared to the other yesteryear great teams to represent Zimbabwe like the Dream Team.
"I think all our teams who played before us have been great and we just took over from them," Musona said.

"I think there are more great things to come from other young guys coming but we have the best players at the moment."
However, if he manages to surpass Ndlovu's record there will be no doubt that the debate regarding Zimbabwe's best goal scorer will be reignited once again.

Source - dailynews