Tabitha Chawinga joining Asisat Oshoala in China ahead of the 2018 season meant two of Africa’s most lethal attackers would suit up in the same league.
The move lived to expectations, with the two going toe-to-toe all season in both the League and Cup title races as well as the golden boot race.
Oshoala extended her fine form in China by firing holders Dalian to the Chinese Women’s Super League title.
The reigning African Women’s Player of the Year scored 10 league goals, three shy of her 2017 tally, to finish as Dalian’s topscorer and the league’s joint second-topscorer.
Her hopes of bagging a second successive domestic double were dashed, though, as the Malawian picked the Cup title.
Chawinga, playing her debut season in China, fired Jiangsu to the League Cup title with a 3-0 win over Oshoala’s Dalian in the final.
She was on target in the Cup final to finish as the Super Cup’s topscorer on nine goals.
The Malawian repeated the feat in the league, scoring 17 times to finish as the league’s topscorer as well.
Her goals haul in the league lifted Jiangsu to a second place finish on 31 points, four shy of champions Dalian, bettering their third-place finish (on 24 points) last season.
This makes it the fifth straight season that Chawinga has finished as either topscorer or among the topscorers abroad.
Chawinga was the topscorer (40+ goals) in her debut season abroad while playing for Swedish third-tier side Krokom/Dvarsatts in 2014.
She then joined Swedish second-tier side Kvarnsveden in 2015, finishing as the league’s topscorer (26 goals) to send Kvarnsveden to the topflight Swedish league.
In 2016, Chawinga was the Swedish topflight league’s third topscorer (22 goals) despite playing for the newly-promoted Kvarnsveden.
In 2017, she netted 24 goals, 10 more than the second topscorer, to clinch the Swedish topflight league’s golden boot while still playing for the lowly-ranked Kvarnsveden.
It’s while receiving the Forward of the Year award in the 2017 Swedish Football Awards that she confirmed her move to China.
CWSL 2018 topscorers
- Tabitha Chawinga (Jiangsu) – 17
- Asisat Oshoala (Dalian) – 10
- Bianca (Wuhan) – 10
- Giovanna (Changchun) – 8
- Sole Jaimes (Dalian) – 8
- Ren Guixin (Changchun) – 8
CWSL 2018 top four
1. Dalian – 35 points
2. Jiangsu – 31 points
3. Changchun – 28 points
4. Wuhan – 21 points