Nyasha Mushekwi to become first Zimbabwean in Chinese Super League

Nyasha Mushekwi of Zimbabwe will undergo surgery in November. Sydney Mahlangu/ BackpagePix

Former CAPS United frontman Nyasha Mushekwi is set to become the first Zimbabwean to play in the Chinese Super League since its 2004 rebrand after his club Dalian Yifang beat Dalian Transcendence 2-1 on Sunday to secure promotion with two games to spare.

Dalian Yifang top the standings in the Chinese League One with 61 points from 28 matches, two more than second-placed Beijing Renhe.

Crucially, they sit nine points above Qingdao Haunghai in third, and are guaranteed a top-two finish and automatic promotion.

Mushekwi looks to have found his range in China, with his return of 16 goals and four assists making him Yifang's most productive forward for the second season running.

The former Mamelodi Sundowns man netted 19 times and laid on a further three on his Chinese debut last term as Yifang just missed out on promotion.

They overcame that disappointment to go up this season, and Mushekwi, who is contracted to Yifang until the end of next year, looks set to join the swelling ranks of African stars in the Chinese Super League.

Nigerians John Obi Mikel, Odion Ighalo, and Obafemi Martins have made themselves comfortable in one of the world football's most lucrative leagues along with Ivory Cost star Gervinho, Senegal's Demba Ba, Stephane Mbia of Cameroon and Chipolopolo forward James Chamanga, among others.

Ighalo is one of two African players, alongside Gambia's Bubacarr Trawally, to have netted 14 goals this season, putting them joint sixth in the goalscoring charts.

Mushekwi spent three seasons at Sundowns, scoring a total of 28 goals in the league. He also had spells at Belgium's KV Oostende and Djurgardens IF of Sweden before packing his bags for China.