By Peter Kanjere

Malawi national football team forward Gabadinho Mhango’s two goals in two Cosafa Cup games in Durban, South Africa, have seen him become the Flames all-time leading scorer in the regional football panorama.

Mhango, who scored in Sunday’s 3-0 win over Seychelles then the equaliser when the Flames beat Namibia 2-1 on Tuesday, took his Cosafa Cup tally to five goals in five games, surpassing Esau Kanyenda and Jones Nkhwazi, who have three each.

However, the former Flames stars scored more goals in the national team colours across all tournaments than Gabadinho.

While Kanyenda and Nkhwazi scored the three goals over many editions, this is Gabadinho’s second Cosafa Cup participation, having scored a hat-trick when Malawi beat Angola 3-0 in the 2016 event which took place in Namibia.

The Bidvest Wits forward, who made 13 appearances in the Premier Soccer League (PSL) while scoring thrice last season, said he wanted to use the Cosafa Cup to stake his claim in the Johannesburg side.

“It’s been a great experience for me to play in the PSL,” Gabadinho told South Africa’s Sowetan newspaper edition of Tuesday.

“It’s a big league‚ a big competition. Maybe there is no need for me to go to Europe because it is the same football … there is a lot of competition [in the PSL] and there are great players that you are playing alongside.”

The Flames have since the inception of the regional competition played 45 games, won 14, drew 12, lost 19, scored 45 and conceded 54.

Cosafa’s all-time leading scorers are Zimbabwean Peter Ndlovu and Felix Badenhorst (eSwatini) with eight goals each.

Malawi’s all-time leading scorer in games of all competitions is Kinnah Phiri, with 67 goals. He retired from the national team in 1984.

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