United wary of Downs’ top striker

2010-11-03 00:00

EVERYONE knows about Mamelodi Sundowns’ danger strikers, Katlego Mphela, Mabhudi Khenyeza and Surprise Moriri.

But it is the new name of Zimbabwean Nyasha Mushekwi that has tongues wagging ahead of the Brazilians’ Telkom Knockout quarter-final against Maritzburg United at Harry Gwala Stadium on Sunday.

Mushekwi has scored the lone winner in each of Downs’ last two games, 1-0 victories against Vasco Da Gama in the league in Cape Town on Friday night and Platinum Stars in the Telkom Knockout first round on October 23.

The tall, athletic striker, the top scorer in the Zimbabwean Premier League for Caps United with 21 goals in 2009, began his career in the PSL south of the Limpopo in fine style, notching up a brace as a substitute in Downs’ league opener to steer his team to a 2-0 win against Moroka Swallows on August 28.

So far Mushekwi has outscored Bafana Bafana striker Mphela (three goals), with four goals in all competitions this season.

It’s too early to tell yet, but the striker looks set to join Kaizer Chiefs forward and countryman Knowledge Musona in becoming one of the most dangerous strikers in the PSL.

Maritzburg assistant coach Sallie Adams said Mushekwi poses a threat to United on Sunday, though he sees the striker merely as a forward who does the basics right, rather than a particularly special player.

“Look — he’s just doing his job really,” Adams said yesterday. “I honestly don’t think he’s that exceptional.

“He’s a striker, he’s there to score goals, and that’s what he has been doing. He does look a lot better than some South African strikers, and he’s doing his job by doing the basics right.

“But Maritzburg can’t just watch Mushekwi, because if we do Sundowns have nine other players who are all capable of punishing you.”

Adams said he believes Mushekwi has been scoring for Downs because he is still new to the PSL and opposition teams have not figured the striker out yet.

“That’s what we will have to do ahead of Sunday’s game — have a look at the games he’s played in and how he’s scored his goals, and what his strengths and weaknesses are,” said Adams.

 

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