Where are the goals?

09 Oct, 2020 - 00:10 0 Views
Where are the goals? Knox Mutizwa


Fungai Muderere
FACT: There is no skill more match-changing in football than putting the ball in the back of the net.

In that regard, the local Premier Soccer League pre- and post-independence eras has been filled with action and excitement with many of the country’s greatest players having graced the league and played for some of local football’s most storied clubs, in the process scoring for fun.

Question: How many people knew that the late Peter “Thunderboots” Nyama scored a massive 62 goals for Chibuku Shumba while Moses “Razorman” Chunga scored 46 for Dynamos in the 1986 season?

Nyama’s claim to stardom came when he pioneered the first Chibuku Shumba (later Black Aces), which was formed from the ashes of Tornadoes, in the 1970 season, together with the late Jawett Nechironga, John “Seke Muchena” Humphreys, Webster Chirumiko, John Madondo, Sisson Mukwena, Topsy Robertson, Billy Sharman, Kizito Tembo, Nicholas “Zoom’’ Rambayi and Twyman Ncube.

The team was under the tutelage of Ken Fulton.

Nyama turned out for Chibuku Shumba through their glorious days of the 70s, when they won both the Chibuku and BAT trophies courtesy of his reportedly breathtaking goal poaching antics.

There has been no threat to Chunga’s 46-goal record that was reportedly characterised by 10 double strikes and three hat-tricks in a year the Razorman was crowned Soccer Star of The Year while the pair of Mercedes Sibanda and Boy Ndlovu were the runners-up on that Soccer Stars podium.

In comparison to Nyama and Chunga’s achievements, the current crop of players seem to have lost their shooting boots.

Three-and-a-half decades on, as shown by a dip in goal tally, those two extraordinary goal-scoring records are far from coming under threat.

Legendary ex-Highlanders bustling striker Zenzo “Zemura” Moyo, a year 2000 Golden Boot Award winner with 24 goals under his belt reckoned that the current crop of players no longer possessed the will to do better for their respective clubs without financial gains hence a dip in goal tally.

“That’s great history about Peter Nyama and Moses Chunga. However, nowadays it will be very much difficult to come across a player who will achieve what the two yesteryear greats achieved. The current crop of players just lacks the zeal to do well for their respective clubs without financial gain.

Moses Chunga

“The likes of Moses Chunga did it for nothing at a time defence lines played with a sweeper, which is a very difficult defence formation to pass through. Today we talk of a one versus one defence formation, a formation that should be very easy for strikers and attacking midfielders to get through. The boys are just not committed,” said Moyo.

Veteran local football commentator and Fifa Ballon d’Or voter, Charles Mabika, opined the fall in goal tallies pointed to the fact that the country now lacked natural born strikers.

“We no longer have natural born strikers with a killer instinct. Perhaps that has to do with biology or the game has evolved to see clubs employing more defensive strategies,” said Mabika.

He added: “But if defence lines have become so rigid, one wonders why the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are scoring 40 plus goals in a year. Maybe the other contributing factor has to do with our coaches. Our coaches need to be assisted by people who were thunderous in front of goal during their playing days.”

Bluntly put, it’s a pathetic state of affairs that last season Clive Augusto, a former Chicken Inn player, won the Golden Boot despite leaving the country midway through the season.

That in itself is a reflection of a wanting striking rate being witnessed in the top-flight. Augusto banged 14 goals before joining Maritzburg United in South Africa but still no one managed to dislodge him.

The marksman left the league with 16 games still to play, but all forwards struggled to catch up, with Dynamos’ Evans Katema coming close with 12 goals.

The 20-goal mark was last breached by Gunners’ Norman Maroto in the 2010 season when he netted 22 times. Since then, the league’s top scorers have struggled.

In 2016, ex-Highlanders striker Knox Mutizwa scooped the golden boot award with 14 goals.

Dynamos were the 2014 champions, having scored 34 goals. However, 526 goals were scored in the 240 matches at an average of 2.19 per game. Then Highlanders’ Charles Sibanda and Kudakwashe Musharu of Shabanie Mine were the top scorers with 12 goals each.

The highest average number of goals per match recorded since 2010 was 2.36 in the 2013 season during which 567 goals were scored.

Dynamos were champions and managed only 43 goals off 30 matches. Then Chicken Inn striker Tendai Ndoro was the top goal scorer with 18 goals.

In the 2012 season, 556 goals were scored at an average of 2.2 goals per match. Champions Dynamos managed 58 goals in a season in which Shabanie Mine’s Nelson Mazivisa claimed the golden boot with 18 goals.

In 2011, Rodreck Mutuma of Dynamos took the golden boot with 14 goals in a season that saw 516 goals being scored at an average of 2.15 goals per match. Dynamos were champions and scored 42 goals in 30 games.

The 2010 season saw 510 goals being scored at an average of 2.13 goals per match when the now defunct Motor Action were crowned champions.

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