South African striker Dino Ndlovu is on the brink of making history with his Chinese second division side Hangzhou Greentown who are one game away from getting promotion to the Chinese Super League on Sunday.
Already, the 30-year-old has broken the club’s goal scoring record after scoring in the 2-2 draw with Wuhan Zall.
Wuhan Zall, who finished 15th in the 2020 Chinese Super League (CSL), were held by Zhejiang Energy Greentown who were the runners-up of the second division league to a 2-2 draw in the first leg of the play-offs on Wednesday.
The play-off is decisive to both teams, as the winners can grab a ticket to the country’s top flight league next season.
Wuhan made a good start in the match, as captain Li Hang slotted a goal with the assistance of Brazilian Leo Carrilho Baptistao in the 14th minute. Later in the first half Wuhan extended their lead in stoppage time when Jean Evrard Kouassi fired in a volley in the penalty area.
Zhejiang cut the deficit to 2-1 in the 55th minute when Zimbabwean striker Nyasha Mushekwi scored with a low strike after a beautifully weighed lob pass by Dino Ndlovu. In the 95th minute, the South African registered his name on the scoresheet when he converted a penalty for Zhejiang and sealed a crucial 2-2 draw for Hangzhou.
The two teams will meet in the second leg of the play-off on the 22nd of November. In the past two seasons Hangzhou has come close to promotion on a few occasions, but have always failed to maintain their form at the last stages of the season.
The Southern African duo of Ndlovu and Mushekwi have been a revelation for Greentown with their striking partnership yielding more than 20 goals this season for the League One club who have put in a lot of investment into the team in the past three years.
The club has brought in the best players from around the world to achieve their dream of gaining promotion to the elite league.
Ndlovu will be personally pleased with his record at the club as he is now officially the club’s all-time goal scorer after surpassing Brazilian Anselmo Ramon who had scored 41 goals in 88 appearances for the Chinese side.
For Ndlovu, 42 goals in 65 games is a record that he can be proud of as he now sets his sights on Sunday’s very important encounter.
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By Prince Sobayeni