By Fungai Muderere
Belgium-based Warriors forward Knowledge Musona spots jersey number 17 in the senior national team and he is interestingly 17 goals shy of reaching Peter ‘Nsukuzonke’ Ndlovu’s Warriors record of 38 goals.
Musona’s hat-trick when the Norman Mapeza-mentored side thumped visiting Liberia 3-0 in a 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier, took his tally to 21 after 39 outings in national team colours.
Musona joined Ndlovu and Vitalis ‘Digital’ Takawira as the only players to score hat-tricks for the Warriors in competitive matches.
The legendary Ndlovu, now team manager at Mamelodi Sundowns, had 100 caps for the country’s flagship team where in the process he scored three goals in the 2004 Africa Cup of Nations contest.
Musona (26), a KV Oostende striker, boasts of a single Afcon goal, a feat that was achieved by the late Adam ‘Admaski’ Ndlovu, Joel Luphahla (2004), Benjani Mwaruwari (2006) and most recently Kudakwashe Mahachi, Nyasha Mushekwi and Tendai Ndoro (2017).
Warriors interim assistant coach Mandla ‘Lulu’ Mpofu said his wish was to see Musona scoring more goals for the senior national team.
“I think Musona is still young to achieve more. While he can score more goals for the senior national team I also don’t think it will be important for him to focus on surpassing Peter Ndlovu. But he has to continue scoring goals.
“He is an experienced player and a hard worker who led by example when we beat Liberia. With the right attitude he will continue to become Zimbabwe’s football darling,” said Mpofu.
The calculator suggests that Musona’s scoring rate stands at one goal in every 1,8 games while Nsukuzonke scored a goal in every 2,6 Warriors games.
“It means a lot because it gives confidence to myself and also to the team. We needed the three points and hopefully in the next games more goals will come. I’m very happy, not only for myself, but also for the team because it was contribution from the teammates. I didn’t do it on my own. Like I said before, we worked as a team, and scored the chances that we had,” Musona was quoted as saying earlier on this week.
With DRC overcoming Congo Brazzaville 3-1 earlier on Saturday, the victory over the Lone Stars lifted the Warriors to the summit of the group.
Zimbabwe’s next 2019 Afcon match is away to Congo Brazzaville at the Stade Alphonse Massamba-Debat on 27 March next year.
They will then face DRC away on 3 September and play host to the same opponents a week later.
They travel to Liberia on 16 October before concluding their campaign with a home game against Congo-Brazzaville on 13 November. B-Metro