Silver Strikers burly striker Matthews Sibale has won TNM Super League Golden Boot with 16 goals to become the first player in nine years to take the accolade in his maiden season.
Former Nyasa Big Bullets forward Divason Mlozi achieved a similar feat in 2008 with 14 goals. Both players are products of the Chipiku Central Region Football Association (CRFA) Premier League.
The Mozambique-bound forward notched his last strike on Saturday when the Bankers beat Civil Sporting Club 2-1 at Silver Stadium in Lilongwe to stay four goals ahead of Blue Eagles’ Mphatso Philemon, Dwangwa United’s Jack Chiona and Vincent Nyangulu of Masters Security, who are tied on second place with 12 goals apiece.
“I am happy to have won my first golden boot accolade in my maiden Super League season. Now, I can leave Silver a happy man as I move on to join a Mozambique club next season. I hope with this award, my exploits will always be remembered by the Silver family,” he said.
However, he attributed his failure to reach his targeted 17-goal mark or match last season’s 19-goal feat by former Mafco Richard Mbulu to his absence in some games due to a red-card he got recently.
“The other reason is that I missed a few games because I had to attend a funeral,” he said.
According to Super League of Malawi (Sulom) fixtures secretary Patrick Chisale, overall, 559 goals have been scored. 30 red cards and 536 yellow cards have been flashed out in a competition that had 178 wins/loses and 61 draws.
He said seven hat-tricks were registered in the first round through Philemon (twice), Victor Limbani of Silver Strikers, Masters’ Nyangulu, Jide Mbandambanda of Blantyre United, Raphael Phiri of Civil and Innocent Bokosi of Red Lions.
“Kelvin Haganda of Kamuzu Barracks [KB] was the only player to score a hat trick in the second round while Patrick Macheso of Dwangwa United scored the first goal of the 2017 season,” he said.
He said Civil’s John Dambuleni, John Chalamanda of Masters, Aubrey Chafewa (Blantyre United), Sam Chibvunde (KB) and Bob Longwe (Mzuni FC) were the unlucky ones as they scored past their own goalkeepers.
Civil are the leading scorers in the elite league, having notched 47 followed by eventual champions Be Forward Wanderers with 46 goals, Nyasa Big Bullets with 41 goals and deposed champions KB with 40.
Bullets had the most solid defence as they conceded only 10 goals. They are followed by Wanderers and Silver with 16 goals each. Nomads, Bullets and the Bankers were all unbeaten at home the entire season. Bullets have now gone four seasons without registering a loss at home.