Pirates coach snubs Gabadinho Mhango- says RSA League bigger than Afcon

By Staff Reporter

The omission of Malawi top striker and scorer of Afcon goal of the tournament Gabadinho Mhango from the Orland Pirates line up continues to raise eyeblows. Orlando Pirates co-coach Mandla Ncikazi says the “galaxy of strikers” at the club means Gabadinho Mhango will have to wait his turn to play as he also suggested the DStv Premiership is a bigger stage than the Africa Cup of Nations finals.

Mhango could not make the match-day 20 as Pirates defeated AmaZulu 1-0 in their Nedbank Cup Last 32 clash at the Orlando Stadium on Sunday.

Malawi international Mhango

This despite Malawi international Mhango being one of the stars of the Cup of Nations in Cameroon, where his three goals and wonder strike against Morocco caught the attention of the watching world.  

“Pirates is a big team and we have good strikers, Mhango being one of them,” Ncikazi said.

“We also have [Zakhele] Lepasa and [Tshegofatso] Mabasa, who was not part of the team. There is [Kwame] Peprah. So it is a galaxy of strikers. The choice was for players who have been preparing for the past few weeks, but Mhango just came back [from the Cup of Nations]. We know he is a good player. it is not because anything is wrong with him, it is just competition.

“We chose to go with Peprah and Lepasa. He [Mhango] will have to work hard and wait for his chance. He will wait like all other players. We recognise and acknowledge his performance in Afcon. But maybe the league in SA is bigger than Afcon.

Before flying out to Cameroon with the Malawian national team, Mhango was starting to gradually come back into the team after a number of off-the-field issues. But Ncikazi says he’ll have to work his way back into the team like other players.

“He’ll will get his opportunity in due course, he just has to work hard like other players are doing. Mabasa was not part of the team, he couldn’t make the 20 and being a top player, being a player that plays in the national team,” Ncikazi said.

Orlando Pirates co-coach Mandla Ncikazi

Ncikazi concluded with a bold remark, saying: “But he will wait like the other players. We recognise and acknowledge his performance in the Afcon. But maybe the league in South Africa is bigger than Afcon, that’s a question for another day.”