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Race for ThumbsUp Golden Boot: Can Salima overtake Saviel?


Chikumbutso Salima and Emmanuel Saviel have got the nets bulging more often than any other Nyasa Big Bullets Reserves players this season.

With the final game of the 2022 season for young Bullets coming this Saturday against Bangwe All Stars in the ThumbsUp Southern Region Football League final, the young duo has got their eyes on the Golden Boot prize.

While Saviel leads the league’s goal scorers’ chart with 23 goals in 18 league matches, Salima, in the second position, has found the back of the net 19 times in 19 appearances.

The battle between the two for the Golden Boot is not only in the league but also at the club level. In all competitions, Saviel has a total of 30 goals in 31 matches under his belt and following him up is Salima, who has netted 27 goals in 34 appearances.

Those numbers mean that Saviel is beautifully poised to scoop the award. Nonetheless, should the forward draw blanks against Bangwe, and Salima, who is capable of bagging four or more in a single game, his striking partner can watch those prospects slip away from him.

The only Bullets Reserves player coming any nearer to the two in the top goal scorers’ standings is Wongani Kaponya. In his debut season for the defending champions, the former Maggie Chombo Academy striker netted ten goals in 15 games before picking up a leg injury that has kept him out for a month.

What the contenders said

Four goals clear of Salima, the odds are on Saviel’s side that he can finish ahead of his teammate in the race. Club media spoke to the two players ahead of the closing match of the season.

“I cannot say I have already won the Golden Boot. After all, that is not my focus; my focus is to see the team do better. Winning the Golden Boot award is a special individual achievement, but I must win with the team first. It is after the final on Saturday that we will see who is going to take the award. It could be me, or my friend Chiku can score five or six and take the Golden Boot, but most importantly I’m looking forward to helping my team win.”

Scoring five goals in a big final is an insurmountable task in football and Salima takes the challenge on Saturday afternoon.

“In football, anything can happen. But I’m not putting my eyes on the Golden Boot award, I just want to help the team to finish the season on a high note on Saturday.  As an attacker, I’m expected to score more. Although I had to deal with injuries at times, I have scored 27 goals so far in this season and I think that’s okay, that’s football.”

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