HLONIPHANI Ndebelea��s seven-year-old 12 goals league record as the top scoring Zimbabwean player is safe despite a threatening start by Zivai Verenga whose free scoring continued on Sunday last week.
Verenga, a former Highlands FC player notched another recognition in Swazi football on Sunday when he became the first and only Zimbabwe-born player to score in two consecutive league matches bringing his tally to three in the process eclipsing Blessing Sandea��s two goals feat from early this season.
Verenga likely end the season as the highest scoring Zimbabwean. His 23rd minute strike put Matsapha United 2-0 ahead in a league match against Manzini Wanderers that eventually ended 2-2 at Somhlolo National Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Ndebelea��s 12 goal record was achieved during the 2011-12 season when he was still at Mbabane Highlanders dropping to 11 the following year.
During the 2013-14 season when he moved to Malanti Chiefs he dropped to seven goals, the same year Verenga then Ndebelea��s striking partner contributed three goals in seven games.
With four league matches to the seasona��s curtain downer, ita��s highly unlikely that Verenga will hit double figures but Ndebele reckons the Matsapha United forward could have broken the record had he arrived at the beginning of the season.
a�?Verenga is a scoring machine. He has made scoring his thing. Had he arrived at the beginning of the season he would have set a new record. I played with him at Malanti Chiefs and he inspired me each time we played together,a�? said Ndebele.
With the game time he is enjoying at Matsapha United where he has struck a good chord with South Africa-born winger, Sphamandla Dhlamini, Verenga is likely to get more goals.
a�?It is my wish to continue scoring especially with the right combination, this is possible. We are creating scoring chances as a team and that goal at the weekend is a result of being at the right place at the right time,a�? said Verenga.
It will seem Verenga will continue with the rich vein of form as a fortnight ago he became the first Zimbabwe-born player to score a brace in Swazi football in six years.
Swazi football statistics might not be readily available as to when last a Zimbabwean player scored brace in Swazi soccer but one thing certain is that from our records is that Matsapha United new signing, became the first Zimbabwean to score a brace in the last six years.
Verenga, who promised goals upon arrival had rescued the then Saul Chaminuka-coached outfit from the jaws of defeat after falling into a two goals deficit in the opening 22 minutes to bounce back 3-2 over Tambuti FC and clinch their first ever league win in 2018.
He grabbed a memorable brace that rallied Matsapha United to probably the MTN Premier League of Swaziland 2017 /18 seasona��s greatest fight back with a 3-2 win in the last Week 21 fixture played at Mavuso Sports Centre on a Sunday afternoon.