Azam Tigers coach Gerald Phiri enjoyed vocal support from ganyu fans as his side beat Kamuzu Barracks 1-0 in the TNM Super League on Saturday at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre.
In a game watched by a sizable crowd, there was little for both sides to cheer until the Kau-Kau boys scored with a crisp half-volley after the goalkeeper Lemani Nthara had fumbled a Yamikani Chester’s cross.
The soldiers have themselves to blame for failing to secure victory, as they had chances – twice in the first half with Manase Chiyesa being the main culprit.
The towering striker had a clear chance in the 17th minute, when he managed to beat Peter Cholopi in Tigers defence before shooting wide to the dismay of their bench, which saw Coach Billy Phambala shaking his head in anger.
At the other end of the pitch, and despite the visitors having just 30% of possession, Lemani Nthara twice stopped Eliah Munthali from scoring, while a third effort from the striker before the break bounced just wide.
It was the 60th -minute introduction of Diof Simaone that turned the match in Kamuzu Barracks favour. The energetic midfielder gave his team much-needed spark and, within three minutes of coming on, he placed Harvey Mkacha well-directed header but oops! Mkacha’s last shot went over the bar.
Despite, scoring Tigers were often uncomfortable defending Kamuzu Barracks counter-attacks and had it not been for a well-timed Peter Cholopi’s tackle on Manase Chiyesa the visitors might have equalised.
After the match, Azam Tigers coach Gerald Phiri described their victory ‘sweet’ after a frustrating last week when they lost 1-0 to Dwangwa United.
“This was a sweet victory because we are coming from a defeat. Iam very delighted with our response and our boys put up a gallant fight,” said Phiri.
Kamuzu Barracks coach Billy Phambala said their game plan worked really well but Tigers made three or four good saves.
“ There was a five-minute spell when we were stretched and Tigers managed to score in that spell. The last thing you can do down in the dogfight is feel sorry for yourselves. We didn’t get what we deserved. We need three displays like that in the next three games,” said Phambala.
Kamuzu Barracks next game is on Sunday against Red Lions in Zomba.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :