Zimbabwe: Another Zimbabwean Striker Making Waves in China

(File photo).

ZIMBABWEAN striker, Neil Nzvenga, is making waves in the Chinese third-tier football league where he is scoring for fun.

His goals have since catapulted his team, Guangxi Junling to qualifying for the promotional play-offs.

The 25-year-old burly striker has netted an impressive five goals in six matches for the club he only joined at the start of the current term.

But he says all his goals will mean nothing if his team fails to nail promotion into the second-tier where he would get to rub shoulders with compatriot Nyasha Mushekwi. "I have been doing what my position demands," said Nzvenga.

"I am employed to score goals and I am glad I have been able to do just that.

"But, I hope the goals won't be in vain.

"We have taken one step in the right direction and we need to complete the task. Football is about completing tasks. We have to do just that."

Guangxi Junling have a quarter-final date against Guangxi Fukong this evening and Nzvenga has since challenged his teammates to rise to the occasion.

"This is a delicate stage that we have reached. Nothing short of character will win you games. The team needs to do everything perfectly if we are to win.

"This is the first stage towards qualification to a tier above. We need to develop an indomitable spirit in us and that way we can as well achieve our target.

"Our eyes are on the prize. That should inspire us and I should say the general attitude in our camp is inspiring.

"We are ready to throw out bodies on the line to earn qualification. I hope the goals won't desert me.

"I have not been finding it any harder to score goals. I have been banging them with relative ease. But, certainly this is a stage very different from the initial games. It's do or die."

Nzvenga has found the target once against Dongxing and Nanning Binjiang at home while he has also scored away against Apple which are threeof the toughest opponents in the league.

He will be hoping to eclipse run-away leading scorer Xie Zifeng of Guangxi Huaqian Valley who has found the target eight times in six matches.

Nzvenga, who was plying his trade with Jumei Guomei last season, scored seven goals in as many matches last season but his team crashed out of the play-offs in the quarter-finals, a ghost which he says should be exorcised.

"I can't stand similar pain. I still feel the it. Last time my team (Jumei Guomei) were very good but we lacked character and you know what happened. This time, I am praying that we will win. I am ready to go and I hope we will be promoted."

Nzvenga, who grew up in the Kaizer Chiefs nursery and also had attachment stints with Sporting Lisbon juniors in Portugal, has for long been targeted by some European clubs in Turkey, Sweden and France.

But he insists that he will only consider joining any of those clubs after completing his studies this year.

While he hasn't represented the national team at any level, Nzvenga said he is ready if called to play for the Warriors.

"That will be a dream come true.

"Who doesn't want to represent his country?

"I am putting all the effort at training and during games with the hope that one day I will be noticed and be drafted into the national team.

"Of course, my development as a player was somehow meandering because I was prioritising studies but I believe I am now ready for the big stage."

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