DIFFERENT LEAGUE, SAME FIGHT, SAME PLAYERS

Tadious Manyepo

Sports Reporter

THEY were banging goals in the ZIFA Northern Region Division One Soccer League last season and they are among the Golden Boot contenders in the Castle Lager Premiership this season.

Ngezi Platinum Stars top marksman Takunda Benhura feels he should have won the Golden Boot in the lower division last year.

That prize was picked by Simba Bhora’s Tinashe Balakasi, who hit the back of the net 29 times, as he helped the Shamva outfit to promotion.

Benhura could only manage 13 goals.

But he played only seven games.

Benhura has 10 league goals this season while Balakasi has nine.

Top scorer Obriel Chirinda is on 11 goals and is struggling with injuries.

“For me, helping Ngezi Platinum Stars win the league title is all that matters,” Benhura said.

“If I manage to win the Golden Boot, that will be great for the team and for me as well.

“Yeah, as for Balakasi, being in the same race, well, this is a man I have so much respect for.

“We were in the same race last season but you might already be aware of what happened to me.

“I couldn’t match him for obvious reasons. I am not saying if what happened to me had not happened, I could have managed to win the top scorer’s prize in Division One.”

Balakasi said Benhura stood a good chance to win the race last season had it not been for injuries.

“Benhura was the real competitor I faced last season in my bid to win the top scorer’s award last season in the First Division,” said Balakasi.

“In the opening weeks of the season, I tried as much as I could but Benhura was always on top.

“Even in the last seven games he played, he also outscored me.

“I am aiming to win the Golden Boot as I have always done in the lower division but I have respect for Benhura.

“I know what he can do with the ball on his feet or above his head with the goal in front of him.

“The other players in the race are also good but I am very excited.”

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