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Mbulu named man of the match in Limpopo derby

Mbulu, who had failed to find the back of the net in 29 appearances across all competitions last season, completed his brace on the cusp of half-time

Richard Mbulu

Richard Mbulu was on Tuesday named player of the match after helping his side Baroka FC make it two wins from two matches in the DSTV Premiership.

Mbulu scored a brace in a 3-1 triumph over Limpopo rivals Black Leopards on Tuesday evening at Giyani Stadium.

Bakgaga got off to a dream start as Mbulu broke the deadlock inside the first minute with a header into a gaping net after Ndlovu came out for a free-kick and missed the flight of the ball.

Roggert Nyundu caused havoc inside the closing stages of the half when his cross-cum shot from the left-side, forced Mfanafuthi Shozi into a goal-line clearance.

However, Baroka put to rest fears and doubled their lead 33 minutes in when Evidence Makgopa got between a cluster of bodies in the centre of the area to send Nhlanhla Mgaqa’s delivery into the far corner.

Mbulu, who had failed to find the back of the net in 29 appearances across all competitions last season, completed his brace on the cusp of half-time: getting down low to steer Thami Masiya’s cross into the back of the net.

Arohasina Andrianarimanana tried to revive the host minutes after halftime, but had his snap shot parried by Elvis Chipezeze with a second goal-line clearance from Shozi denying Kabwe.

8 minutes into the second half, the Flames forward Mbulu had a chance to bag a hat-trick from a loose pass in the opposite half, but blazed over the top.

Leopards brought the contest to life in the 60th minute as Shozi’s earlier clearances fell in vain when he helped a free-kick into the area past his own goalkeeper.

The hosts finished the half with ten players in the last 20 minutes after Makobela got a straight red for a poor challenge.

This means Mbulu who dominated the Limpopo derby and eventually named man of the march has managed to score three goals in two successive matches.

The interim coach Matsemela Thoka was instrumental to  his man of the match performance, the former MAFCO FC goal poacher told a post-match interview.

He said:” I am happy that at last am able to rediscover my scoring boots which went missing during the previous season.

I owe this to the coach, my cousin Gerald Phiri Jnr and my wife who have been the source of inspiration to this remarkable turnaround.”

Mbulu also revealed that his military experience is helping him in a number of areas including endurance and enhanced fitness levels.

Gerald Phiri Jnr watched the match from the bench. Mbulu’s recent fine form is good news to Flames coach Meck Mwase who has mostly paired him with Gabadinho Mhango during national team duties.

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