Afcon gave me hope for the future – Mhango

Johannesburg- Orlando Pirates swashbuckling striker Gabadinho Mhango says that having a fantastic Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) tournament has made him focus more on his career and to work harder in becoming one of the top strikers on the continent.

In the past, Mhango’s career was plagued by scandals, controversies and he featured a lot in the wrong pages of newspapers.

But he hit the right kind of form with the Flames of Malawi at the 2021 Afcon tournament that was recently held in Cameroon. In the Last 16 round match against Morocco he even scored what was a contender for goal of the tournament.

His quick feet and fast-thinking led Malawi to their first second round finish at the tournament.

He bowed out of the competition with three goals and was one of the Flames squad members who were rewarded with a piece of land in the capital Lilongwe for making the country proud.

Reports in Malawi said that Lilongwe-based real estate company, Hills and Associates , offered the rest of the Flames players a piece of land .

Before the start of Afcon, the former Bidvest Wits forward was struggling to get going with the Buccaneers this season. He had made a mere six appearances in all competitions.

“As a human being, sometimes we make mistakes,” Mhango opened up to Sunday World.

“We have to learn from those mistakes and I think it’s something that I have to accept. Whether I did or did not do it, life goes on and we move forward.

“I just have to do what is best for me going forward. It was great being with the Malawi team and performing in the manner that we did. It gave us, and especially me, a new perspective and direction in life. I am now looking forward to continuing my form with my team Pirates. The team is more special, the performance I managed at Afcon is something that I hope I can repeat with the club . That’s my aim .

“Everyone was happy with the team. When we went there, we went as underdogs and people were not expecting much from us – but as players we knew what we went there for, to represent our country and to make our people proud.

“When we returned to Malawi, everyone back home was very happy. It was like history for the national team because it was the first time Malawi reached the next phase (Last 16) .

“Yes, it is true that we were rewarded with a piece land in Malawi.

“To me, and that’s a very nice gesture because land is a long-term investment – money can be finished in a short space of time,” he said


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