Ndoro leads in SA Golden Boot race

Ndoro leads in SA Golden Boot race

Ndoro leads in SA Golden Boot race

BARRING injury or a severe drop in form, Zimbabwean, Orlando Pirates striker Tendai Ndoro could well be the first player in half a decade to reach the magic 20-goal mark in a PSL season.

The last to achieve this feat was Siyabonga Nomvethe, who scored 20 goals in 30 league games as Moroka Swallows finished unlikely runner’s up in the 2011/ 12 season.

Since then, the Golden Boot winners’ list makes for rather disappointing reading, especially if you’re a Bafana Bafana coach trying to find a reliable SA-born marksman.

Katlego Mashego scored 13 for Swallows in 2012/13, followed by a paltry 10 by Bernard Parker at Kaizer Chiefs the following year. Free State Stars frontman Moeketsi Sekola topped the charts in 2014/ 15 with 14, and veteran Zambian target-man Collins Mbesuma won last season’s award with 13 league goals.

More than any other position, confidence, which can only really be found by scoring regular goals, is a crucial element to a striker’s game. Even without looking at Ndoro’s impressive stats, his confidence and self-belief are plain to see.

Blistering pace, despite being into his early 30’s, solid technique, two strong feet, good aerial ability and clinical finishing, have made him a nightmare for defenders across the PSL.

The Zimbabwean feels he can score every time he takes to the park and his record this season and over the last nine months, backs that up.

After starting with five goals in his first two matches of the 2016/17 campaign, Ndoro has gone on to add another six goals in 10 league matches. His tally so far is 11 goals in 12 games, or a goal every 95 minutes (taking into account minutes played/ occasions when he has been substituted).

Without him, Pirates’ floundering season would have been a whole lot more dire – all but three of the club’s league goals have been scored by Ndoro, who was a Zimbabwe Achievers Awards SA 2016 nominee for Sports Personality.

And with his level of consistency, Ndoro has bagged 22 goals in 32 matches he has featured in since February 21 this year.

Although less than half the current season has been played, the odds on the 31-year-old being crowned the league’s top goal-scorer must be pretty good, provided he steers clear of major injury.

In terms of competition, there isn’t an awful lot right now. Cape Town City’s attacking midfielder Lebogang Manyama has already surpassed his best goal haul for a season with the seven in 13 league games he has notched for the newly-formed club.

City though are still riding the crest of the wave that comes with the buzz of a brand new project, but the club will surely face dips in form in months ahead and it would be surprising if as a non-striker, Manyama can keep up his goal rate.

After Manyama, Jeremy Brockie, Rodney Ramagalela, Thabo Mnyamane, Nathan Paulse and Percy Tau all have four league goals. Paulse’s have come at the best rate – from just seven matches, while Tau has four from eight and Brockie four in 10. Mnyamane has taken 11 games, and Ramagalela 13.

Of the bunch, only SuperSport’s New Zealand marksman Brockie has ever bagged double figures in a season during his career; Ramagalela and Paulse have been around for years and have never shown themselves to be prolific scorers.

It will be interesting though to see how the two wingers from Pretoria – Mnyamane (SuperSport) and Tau (Mamelodi Sundowns) fair. – ANA