By Fungai Muderere
Highlanders veteran goalkeeper Ariel “Mangoye” Sibanda has had an epic 2018 season, keeping 15 clean sheets from 28 league games he has played for the Bulawayo football giants.
Reigning Goalkeeper of the Year, Elvis Chipezeze, now with South Africa’s Baroka FC, produced stunning clean sheets in the past season from 31 starts.
With two games to go before the end of the 2018 season, the reserved goal minder, has made two penalty saves, converting one goal from the penalty spot in a match that Bosso thumped Harare City 2-0 last Sunday at Barbourfields Stadium.
“It’s always great to do well for your club. Sometimes you have a bad day in the office but I know I can do better with each passing game,” said the 2012 Zimbabwe’s Goalkeeper of the Year who was reduced to a zero on 10 June when he was red carded in the 0-1 defeat to Bulawayo Chiefs for handling outside the box.
The howler came a few matches after he was accused of gifting ZPC Kariba the 2-1 win at Emagumeni.
The 29-year-old Sibanda, who has worn no other jersey except the Highlanders strip and has kissed no other club badge except the famous “Siyinqaba” inscribed shield and arrow logo in his near decade Premiership career, is heavily tipped to be part of this year’s Soccer Stars list alongside teammates MacClive Phiri and Gabriel Nyoni.
There is no doubt the Highlanders shot stopper is one of the most experienced keepers in the land, but he acknowledges a number of top notch keepers have emerged and predicts a tough contest for the 2018 Goalkeeper of the Year award.
Ngezi Platinum Stars’ Donovan Bernard and FC Platinum Wallace Magalane are some of the goalkeepers who have performed well this season.
Reigning Soccer Star of the Year Rodwell Chinyengetere, was once again on top of his game scoring a massive 17 goals for champions FC Platinum.
After suffering a near career-ending injury in 2012 while playing for Hwange, Chinyengetere leads the local league’s Top Goal Scorers Chart
ZPC Kariba striker David Temwanjira appeared to be running away with the golden boot in the early stages of the season while still at Shabanie Mine but he struggled soon after his mid season switch to Kariba.
He is third on the scorers’ charts with 11 goals, four behind top goal scorer Rodwell Chinyengetere (FC Platinum) while Triangle’s Lameck Nhamo is second with 12 goals.
Chinyengetere has already equalled last season’s golden boot winner Dominic Chungwa after reaching 17 goals with two more games to play. B-Metro.