Malawi national football team assistant coach Nsazwirimo Ramadhan says Wizards FC are a excellent side and the team to watch out for after witnessing the young side beat experienced side Red Lions on Monday at Kamuzu Stadium in their first 2016 TNM Super League season.
Wizards, who were relegated in their debut appearance last season but found their way back into the top flight football following their win in the play offs, mesmerised the sizeable crowd that turned up on the Labour Day holiday.
Despite losing a couple of their five key players to top clubs at the close of last season, Wizards were on the onslaught right from the first whistle and immediately won the hearts of the fans with their fancy footwork and one touch passing football.
They lost many chances in the first half to end the first half goalless but immediately after recess, after a series of mesmerising passes, Patrick Phiri rose to the occasion to open the scores and from then on it was a case of controlling the game by excellent defending and very innovative counter attacks.
“They play a 4-5-1 formula and their midfield moves forward so effectively to supply the lone striker,” Ramadhan said. “As soon as they win possession, the defence does not just kick the ball upfront but they craftily feed the midfield, which in turn push forward to support the lone striker.
“They are still a good side and I am quite sure they will continue more upsets like they did today, which they could have won by a large margin if they had been more composed in front of goal,” said the coach.
One Ndirande-based fan Jeremiah Kazembe said he was happy that despite losing the key players, Wizards seem not to have lost any self esteem but to show that they still can play their fancy man-to-man passing game.
“We enjoyed their style of play last season and this time around, they seem to have matured because they are able to shoot at goal,” he said.
“Last season, they were not good at crossing the ball but now they are good at it but when they do that they need to have numbers in the box.”
Meanwhile, Lilongwe-based Blue Eagles have opened a 6-point lead after week three of the season having won all their four games.
They won both their away games this weekend beating Azam Tigers 1-0 on Saturday and Max Bullets 5-3 the following day. Maxwell Salambula scored their first hat-trick of the season.
On second place are Mzuzu University (Mzuni) who beat Moyale Barracks 1-0 in their derby on Sunday at Mzuzu Stadium while Mighty Be Forward Wanderers are third with five points after drawing 1-1 with arch rivals Nyasa Big Bullets on Saturday at Kamuzu Stadium in the Blantyre derby.
The Lilongwe derby on Sunday saw Silver Strikers beating Civo 2-1 for the Bankers to move from position 15 to 12. Civo have moved from third to 6th.
Nyasa Big Bullets tie on five points with Wanderers but have moved to fourth from 6th while Moyale, who were second last week, are on position five.
This coming weekend’s fixtures are as follows:
Saturday, May 7
Silver Strikers v Wizards at Silver Stadium
Mzuni FC v Max Bullets at Mzuzu Stadium
Epac FC v Dwangwa at Civo Stadium
Be Forward Wanderers v Civo United at Kamuzu Stadium
Sunday, May 8
Moyale v Max Bullets at Mzuzu Stadium
Azam Tigers v Civo United at Kamuzu Stadium
Blue Eagles v Red Lions at Nankhaka
Kamuzu Barracks v Wizards at Civo Stadium
Mafco v Nyasa Big Bullets at Chitowe
The following is how they stand:
P W D L Pts
1. Blue Eagles 4 4 0 0 12
2. Mzuni 3 2 0 1 6
3. Wanderers 3 1 2 0 5
4. Big Bullets 3 1 2 0 5
5. Moyale 3 1 1 1 4
6. Civo United 3 1 1 1 4
7. Mafco 3 1 1 1 4
8. Azam Tigers 3 1 1 0 4
9. Epac 3 1 0 2 3
10. Wizards 1 1 0 0 3
11. Dwanga 4 0 3 1 3
12. Silver 3 1 0 2 3
13. Red Lions 3 1 0 2 3
14. Max Bullets 3 0 2 1 2
15. KB 4 0 2 1 2
16. Karonga 0 0 0 0 0