Namibian Shalulile ‘best forward in South African Premiership’


Pretoria (AFP) – Highlands Park coach Owen da Gama says Namibian Peter Shalulile is the best South African Premiership forward after he equalised in a 1-1 draw with Polokwane City Saturday. 

The 27-year-old struck on 74 minutes, soaring to powerfully head a corner past Zimbabwean goalkeeper George Chigova behind closed doors at Loftus Versfeld stadium in Pretoria.

Highlands scored both goals as Limbikani Mzava headed a cross into his own net after 65 minutes under pressure from Zimbabwean Charlton Mashumba to give lowly Polokwane the lead. 

Shalulile has bagged 14 goals in the richest African league this season to share first place in the Golden Boot competition with Malawian Frank Mhango of Orlando Pirates.

The contest to finish as leading scorer is dominated by foreigners with Serb Samir Nurkovic of Kaizer Chiefs (13 goals) and Zimbabwean Knox Mutizwa of Golden Arrows (12) also contenders.

“I believe an Egyptian club are interested in Peter and that is no surprise because he is the best forward in the South African Premiership,” said Da Gama.

“It does not matter whether the ball is on the ground or in the air — he is equally deadly in both situations.

“Peter is a natural scorer, banging in goals in training, in warm-up matches and in league and cup games. He is a hard worker and deserves whatever success he achieves.”

Seventh-place Highlands have drawn all three matches since the league restarted in a ‘bio bubble’ in the Gauteng province on August 11 after a five-month shutdown due to the coronavirus.

Securing one point lifted Polokwane off the bottom of the table, but they are above AmaZulu only on goal difference and have played one match more.

The bottom team are automatically relegated and the side finishing second last goes into play-offs with two second division clubs.

Meanwhile, Baroka lost 1-0 to Chippa United in Johannesburg and remain in danger of being relegated as they are just one point above Polokwane and AmaZulu.

Malta-born Baroka coach Dylan Kerr will be particularly worried as this match was considered the “easiest” of the run-in with fixtures to come against the three highest-placed teams.

“We lack the quality needed in the final third of the pitch to be a successful Premiership side,” admitted Kerr.

Nigerian Augustine Kwem was the match-winner for 12th-place Chippa, racing on to a superb pass and firing a low shot past Zimbabwean goalkeeper Elvis Chipezeze in the seventh minute.

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