Record broken. Frank Gabadinho Mhango has become Malawi’s first ever player to scoop South Africa’s most prestigious accolade the golden boot award.
The once rejected stone at Bidvest Wits, achieves this feat in grand style as it comes in his maiden season as a buccaneer player.
Gaba joined Orando Pirates at the start of the 2019/2020 season from Wits where he had been relegated to the bench in the previous season despite having a sensational start to the 2018/2019 season at the club.
Since his arrival at Pirates, Gaba produced star performances in a number of games, scoring vital goals while at the same time selflessly providing goalable assists to team mates.
His scoring boots earned him praise among the Buccaneers supporters and throughout the better part of the first and second round of the 2020, Gaba mesmerised the bookmakers due to his unceasinly performance.
Notably, Gaba scored against Orlando Pirate’s fierce rivals Mamelodi Sundowns, Kaizer Chiefs, Supersport United, former clubs Bluemfontine Celtic and Wits FC among others;.
However, this only last until the game of football in South Africa was suspended due to the threat of Covid-19.
And soon after the resumption of sporting activities in that country, the Flames leading scorer went on to play seven games in a row without rediscovering his scoring a boots and consequently lost the first 11 slot.
Preasure started mounting on Mhango as Absa Premier League golden boot contenders closed in on his 14 goal tally, accumulated way before the suspension of the game.
Among those that fiercely chased the award include Knox Mutizwa of Golden Arrows, Peter Shalulile who plays for Highlands Park. Super Sport’s Bradley Grobler and Samir Nurkovic of Kaizer Chiefs.
Nonetheless, the pint sized goal poacher kept faith and when introduced as a substitute in a midweek match against Maritzburg United, Mhango made use of the opportunity to score a late winner for Pirates, equaling Highlands Park’s Peter Shalulile and Bradley Grobler goal tally at 15.
Following that late goal, Gaba returned to the first team lineup as Buccaneers played their Absa Premiership’s final game of the season against Stellenbosch, netting the only goal of the game at the stroke of halftime.
Despite being substituted, the goal was enough for Gaba to jointly share the Golden Boot with Namibian Peter Shalulile as they tallied 16 goals on the final day of the 2019/2020 season.
Gabadidho Mhango’s Golden Boot accolade adds to a list of other honours the former Big Bullets, Bloemfontein Celtic and Bidvest Wits striker as he also twice scooped player of the month as well as several man of the match awards.
During the 2019/2020 season, Gaba played a total of 25 games in the Absa Premier League in which he had 24 starts at an average of 71 minutes per game, scored 16 goals, received 7 yellow cards and was never red carded
This means, Gaba has become the first Malawian ever to win the Golden Boot award in South Africa.
Former Jomo Cosmos Esau Kanyenda, is the only Malawian player who came close to winning the Golden Boot award was after netting 18 goals during the 2010 season.