Malawi forward Gabadinho Mhango was once again omitted from Mandla Ncikazi’s team when Orlando Pirates played to a goalless draw with Golden Arrows on Wednesday night.
Mhango last played for the Buccaneers before the just ended Africa Cup of Nations before proceeding to the tournament where he scored all the three goals for the Malawi National Football Team.
But despite his brilliant performance, Mhango has been nowhere near Ncikazi’s team, a development which attracted questions from the media soon after Pirates’ 1-0 victory over Amazulu FC in the Nedbank Cup.
But his response puzzled many as he placed the DSTV Premiership above Afcon.
“We chose to go with Kwame Peprah and Zakhele Lepasa. Mhango will have to work hard and wait for his chance. He will wait like all other players. We recognize and acknowledge his performance in Afcon. But maybe the league in South Africa is bigger than Afcon,” he responded.
True to his words, Mhango was not on the bench when the Soweto giants played Jssaoura in the CAF Confederations Cup last weekend.
As if that was not enough, Ncikazi showed his power when he sidelined the 29-year old when Pirates drew 0-0 with Arrows at home, a result which attracted angry comments from the supporters.
“Our Hippo is useless we need a serious coach who is fair to all the players and not this one who has his favorites in Makhubele and Mosele. The team needs Mhango and we are tired of Peprah who give nothing when he is in the starting eleven. We want to win games and the only is to see Mostwari, Mhango and Makaringe in the starting eleven and lastly, Ncikazi must go back to Arrows,” reads one of the comments.
Another comments read: “Ncikazi your favorite Peprah is back to default settings, humble yourself and give Mhango an opportunity to play. We need that guy in our team if we are to register positive results. Peprah will never be a solution to our team,” said the comment.
Mhango shared the Lesley Manyathera Golden Boot with Peter Shalulile after the duo scored 16 goals in the 2020/21 season.
He joined Pirates from the then Bidvest Wits in 2019.
At Afcon, he scored one of the tournament’s best goals when Malawi was beaten 2-1 by Morocco in the Round of 16.