Sikhumbuzo Moyo in Sun City, South Africa
ZIMBABWE’S co-skipper at the 2017 Cosafa Castle Cup here Ovidy Karuru has now scored the most goals in a single tournament in the regional competition’s 20-year history with six goals to his credit.
The 28-year-old, who was part of the Warriors’ 2008 Cosafa Castle Cup squad that lost 4-5 to Zambia in a penalty shootout in South Africa, shot into the cup’s all-time single tournament’s leading scorer’s chart with his 17th minute goal against Swaziland in the quarter-finals at the Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace on Sunday night.
He has now scored one more goal than previous joint leaders, Sarivahy Vombola (2015) of Madagascar and Swaziland’s Felix Badenhorst (2016), and two more than his countryman Cuthbert Malajila, who scored four goals when Zimbabwe won the tournament in 2009.
The legendary Peter Ndlovu scored three goals in 2003 and the same number in the 2004 tournament.
Karuru opened his scoring record in the Group B opener against Mozambique on Monday last week and ended with a brace in the Warriors’ 4-0 demolition. He then took his tally to five with a hat trick against Seychelles on Friday evening.
The AmaZulu midfielder in the South African National First Division is still on course to increase his tally as the Warriors face Lesotho in the semi-finals tomorrow and a win will see them through to the final on July 9. With his hunger for goals, a double figure is still within reach for the former Masvingo United and Kaizer Chiefs man.
Coach Sunday Chidzambwa is also impressed with his skipper, describing him as a talented utility player, who is deadly in front of goal.
“Naturally Karuru is a very talented player and he is able to play in so many positions; is very good as an attacking midfielder, a very good thinker and skilful too,” said Chidzambwa.
Karuru has so far bagged two man of the match awards.
The Warriors have been the most lethal side in this year’s tournament with a total of 12 goals in four matches, while conceding one.
Cosafa top scorers
1997 4 – Adelino (Mozambique)
1998 2 – Tauya Mrewa, Peter Ndlovu, Shepherd Muradzikwa, Benjamin Nkonjera (all Zimbabwe)
1999 3 – Betinho (Angola)
2000 4 – Luke Petros (Zimbabwe)
2001 18 players tied with one goal each.
2002 2 – Mfanzile Dlamini, Siza Dlamini (both Swaziland), Rotson Kilambe (Zambia), Teboho Mokoena, Patrick Mayo (both South Africa), Esau Kanyenda (Malawi)
2003 3 – Peter Ndlovu (Zimbabwe)
2004 3 – Peter Ndlovu (Zimbabwe)
2005 4 – Collins Mbesuma (Zambia)
2006 3 – Fabrice Akwa (Angola)
2007 3 – Teko Modise (South Africa), Paulin Voavy (Madagascar)
2008 4 – Phillip Zialor (Seychelles)
2009 4 – Cuthbert Malajila (Zimbabwe)
2013 4 – Jerome Ramatlhakwane (Bot)
2015 5 – Sarivahy Vombola (Madagascar)
2016 5 – Felix Badenhorst (Swaziland)
2017 6 — Ovidy Karuru (Zim)