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MUSONA IN RACE FOR GOLDEN BOOT AWARD

ZIMBABWE international striker Knowledge Musona has emerged as one of the contenders for the Golden Boot award in Belgium with nine goals to his name for his Pro League football side KV Oostende.BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA

With Zimbabwe crying out for proven goal scorers following a nightmarish African Nations Championship (Chan) campaign in Rwanda where the Warriors only scored once, culminating in them being booted out of the tournament, Musona is showing how it’s done at the top level.

The race for the top marksman though remains devilishly tight.

Although Musona failed to score in the team’s last match, a 2-1 defeat to Kortrijk, he remains very much in the race for the award.

He scored one of the goals in the 3-3 draw against Waasland Beveren in the previous match, taking his goal tally to nine in 21 appearances.

But the Zimbabwean international is two goals behind the leading goal scorers, Mali international striker Diaby Abdoulay of Club Brugge and Sven Kums of Gent, who share top spot with 11 goals each.

He is a goal behind other strikers, who include his team mate Gohi Cyriac, Benin’s Frederick Gounongbe, who turns out for Westerlo, Algeria’s Sifiane Hanni, who plays for Mechelen, Anterlecht’s Stephano Okaka (Italy), France international Jeremy Perbet, who plays for Charleroi, and Senegal international Mbaye Leye, who is on the books of ZW.

Two other strikers, Gent’s Laurent Depoitre and Club Brugge’s Jelle Vossen, have also scored nine goals each and are also fancying their chances of winning the top award.

KV Oostende are in fourth position on the league table with 39 points, 10 behind leaders Gent after 23 games.

With perennial Champions League participants Club Brugge and Anderlecht in second and third place on the league table with 46 and 44 points respectively, the battle for a slot in the prestigious European club cup competition remains tight.

Should Oostende secure a Champions League place, or possibly a Europa ticket, which is highly likely at the moment, it will give Musona an opportunity to rub shoulders with some of the big names in European football.

Musona has picked form at a time the Warriors are set to resume their 2017 African Cup of Nations qualifiers with a trip to Swaziland in March.

Zimbabwe, who defeated Malawi 2-1 before drawing 1-1 against Guinea in their two matches last year, share top spot in Group L with Swaziland on four points.

Another Warrior who is setting the stage alight is Khama Billiat. The South Africa-based Mamelodi Sundowns star is arguably the team’s best performer this season.

The speedy winger has been the difference in the Brazilians squad, scoring four goals to top the team’s scoring chart and producing five assists this season, which puts him as favourite to win footballer of the year.

Sundowns, also home to Warriors striker Cuthbert Malajila, currently top the Absa Premiership with 33 points, one better than second-placed Bidvest Wits.

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