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Machope targets Golden Boot

SIMBA Bhora striker Tymon Machope is targeting to win this season’s Golden Boot award and in the process break Norman Maroto’s 22-goal record set 14 years ago.

SIMBA Bhora striker Tymon Machope is targeting to win this season’s Golden Boot award and in the process break Norman Maroto’s 22-goal record set 14 years ago.

Maroto was the last player to score at least 20 goals in the domestic Premier Soccer League after he netted 22 times to claim the league’s Golden Boot in 2010 while playing for Gunners.

Over a decade later, no striker in the league has managed to surpass that, with Takunda Benhura scoring 13 goals to top the scoring chats last season.

Caps United forward William Manondo looked like he would breach the 20-goal mark in the 2022 season, but came just short, ending the campaign with 17 goals.

That was the closest they have come to beat Maroto’s record in recent times.

However, Machope has vowed to rewrite the history books and is targeting more than 22 goals this season.

The 30-year-old only made his league debut last season, scoring seven goals in the 11 matches that he featured after joining Simba Bhora during the mid-season transfer window. He has had a decent start to the current season and his brace in the 3-0 win over Arenel on Saturday moved him to second on the race for the Golden Boot, with six goals.

Highlanders’ Lynoth Chikuhwa and Evans Katema of Bikita Minerals currently lead the charts with seven goals apiece after 15 rounds of matches.

“As a striker, the target is to score as many goals as I can to help the team achieve its target. But on a personal level, the target is to finish as the top goal scorer. I want to score and surpass the record that was set by Norman Maroto,” Machope vowed.

“It’s a difficult thing to do, but I think it’s possible. I need to work extra hard because I feel like I’m lagging on where I should be. The number of games that we have played is way more than the goals I have scored. I have to manage that ratio better, and I still feel I have a chance to come good.”

Machope and his third-placed Simba Bhora team are on the road to Zvishavane this weekend for a clash with log leaders FC Platinum. The Shamva-based side won this fixture last season, with Machope assisting Tinashe Balakasi for the opener before he scored the winner himself in the 2-1 victory.

“It’s a tricky fixture this one, one I’m somehow dreading. I don’t know why,” Machope said.

“They are a very good team and have a very organised defence that does not concede too many goals, so we will have to be at our best to get a result there.

“We have done it before, so it’s very much possible that we can come away with the three points again. I rate our chances of winning that game at 60:40 in our favour.”

FC Platinum are one of the three teams that have conceded the least goals so far   10 together with second-placed Manica Diamonds and ZPC Kariba, who are in the bottom half of the table.

The Zvishavane-based side, unbeaten in the last six matches, have also scored an impressive 22 goals, more than any other team in the league.

“I’m anticipating a tough, but very exciting match because the two teams are playing good football at the moment,” Machope said.

The forward, who was playing lower-tier football before his big break at Simba Bhora, has been lavishly praised by his coach Tonderai Ndiraya, who believes he has far much more to offer.

Machope’s incredible rise has seen him receiving his first senior national team call-up when he was drafted into the Warriors squad in the recent 2026 World Cup qualifiers against Lesotho and South Africa.

“He is showing his class. He’s got a humble background, but the talent that is in him doesn’t really show the background that he has. He is quite some talent,” Ndiraya said after the Arenel game at Wadzanai Stadium on Saturday.

Castle Lager Premier Soccer League matchday 16 fixtures

Saturday: Bikita Minerals vs Chicken Inn (Sakubva), Herentals vs Ngezi Platinum Stars (Rufaro), Arenel vs TelOne (Luveve), FC Platinum vs Simba Bhora (Wadzanayi), ZPC Kariba vs Bulawayo Chiefs (Nyamhunga)

Sunday: Caps United vs Chegutu Pirates (Rufaro), Manica Diamonds vs Dynamos (Sakubva), Green Fuel vs Yadah (Green Fuel Arena), Highlanders vs Hwange (Barbourfields)

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