A second half cracker from Jabulani Linje was enough to give Mighty Be Forward Wanderers a 1-0 win against Red Lions in the TNM Super League on Thursday at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre to move fourth and seal an automatic qualification into Standard Bank Knockout Cup.
The Nomads have wrapped up the 2015 season on fourth position with 45 points.
Wanderers coach Elias Kananji said his charges deserved the win because they managed the game well.
“I am delighted with today’s performance and this was a Christmas gift to our fans. Let me also take this opportunity to thank our supporters for their encouragement and support during the 2015 season,” said Kananji.
The Zomba based soldiers were lively early on but on 12th minute they hit bar before the ball kissed the line to what many thought it was a goal, which was disallowed. A goal line technology would have been needed in that situation.
The Nomads responded a few minutes later, when Ibrahim Sadick whipped in a free-kick from the left which Muhammad Sulumba flicked but the ball dropped straight into the arms of Red Lions goalkeeper.
The visitors then were soon looking to reassert their authority though as Boniface Kaulesi curled an effort just wide from outside the penalty area before somehow heading over Innocent Bokosi’s cross when arriving at pace in the six-yard box.
As half-time approached, Isaac Kaliat got away down the right again, this time his floated ball back across goal was headed away by Benis Kaisi just as Jabulani Linje set himself to score.
It was goalless as the two teams were going on recess time.
Kananji made some changes for the second half when he introduced the likes of Mapopa Kaunda, Malumbo Gondwe and Kondwani Lufeyo for Ibrahim Sadick, Wongani Kaipa and Jabulani Linje.
Wanderers, though, remained an effective defensive unit, something which had been lacking in recent meetings with the soldiers.
On the hour, Wanderers midfielder Alfred Manyozo jnr broke into the right side of the penalty area. However, the midfield maestro blasted the ball high over Red Lions goal.
Red Lions keeper, who was kept busy produced a fine save to keep out a curling 20-yard shot from Sulumba in the 68th minute.
However, the Reds keeper could no longer hold it any more, as he fumbled Sulumba’s long range before it landed in Linje’s boots, who did not make any mistake before plating it home to send the Nomads fans on cloud nine.
The visitors almost equalized in the closing stages when Innocent Bokosi’s chip-shot was saved by Peter Munthali, and Boniface Kaulesi follow-up was blocked.
Red Lions resorted in a physical game as Wanderers closed out a morale-boosting win.
Lions coach Prichard Mwansa said: conceded the defeat but saluted his troops for trying their best.
“It was not our day and l must congratulate Wanderers for their victory. It is now time to reflect on what we failed to do and where to improve next season,” said Mwansa.
According to TNM league sponsorship breakdown, champions Bullets will pocket K15 million (about $23,780), runners-up will receive K7 million, third place is valued at K4 million (about $6,341) while fourth-placed outfit will rake in K3.5 million (about $5,548).
The Super League season is expected to close down on Sunday with champions Bullets facing Civo, who are on position nine.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :