Gaba under spotlight as Pirates face Sundowns

Malawian striker Frank ‘Gabadinho’ Mhango has an opportunity to increase his goal tally as his club Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns clash in a South African Absa Premier Soccer League (PSL) match tonight.

Mhango, who has so far scored 10 league goals, is the joint-leading scorer with Amazulu’s Bongi Ntuli.

Mhango: I just have to remain focused

In an interview on Monday, the Pirates forward, who is enjoying a rich vein of form, said being the joint-leading scorer does not put him under pressure.

“There is still a long way to go. So, I do not really think my focus should be on being the leading scorer.

“I just have to remain focused and do well for the team. If I get chances, I will try to make good use of them. But it’s not something that is bothering me,” he said.

Meanwhile, former Sundowns and Pirates striker Katlego Mashego was quoted by www.goal.com as having said that he expects Sundowns will find it difficult to monitor Mhango, but believes coach Pitso Mosimane’s men are experienced for such encounters.

Speaking about the influence of the Malawian striker against what is known as a slow defence on the part of the reigning PSL champions, the former Moroka Swallows hitman tipped Mhango to give Sundowns defence a torrid time.

“I think the speed of Mhango will obviously be problematic for Sundowns and we know Sundowns do not have the quickest defenders,” he was quoted as having said.

“They play from the back but not the quickest when attacked and that will be key in the match. [However], I am concerned because Mhango can have a good first-half and disappear in the second-half.

“Mhango will be a threat for Sundowns but I expect Sundowns to capitalise on set pieces because Pirates seem to struggle to deal with them,” said the former Bafana Bafana striker.

Mhango said he is not panicking that the focus is on him ahead of tonight’s clash.

“It is a big one, but I just have to be composed and hope that I will be given a chance to play,” he said.

Pirates are sixth in the 16-team league with 24 points from 16 matches while Sundowns are second with 32 points from 17 matches.

Sundowns are nine points behind leaders Kaizer Chiefs, but have a game in hand.

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