4 points for Nchalo United in Mzuzu: Malawi TNM Super League

From their very first two games as debutants this season, rookies Nchalo United, return back to the Lower Shire with 4 points in their bag after forcing a one all draw against Moyale Barracks on Sunday at Mzuzu Stadium; twenty four hours after their debut TNM Super League victory against Mzuni FC at the same venue.

Nchalo United

The soldiers were quick to stamp their authority in the game with their long passes which were mostly targeting their injury recovered danger man, Gastin Simkonda, who was also wearing the captain’s arm band.

Just seven minutes into the game, Simkonda was illegally brought down twenty two metres from the visitors’ goal, forcing referee Ken Ngwira to award the soldiers a free kick which Simkonda himself beautifully converted by placing the piece of leather far left where goalkeeper Davie Pashane could not reach. 1 nil to the soldiers.

United were never put off with the lead by the home side. They quickly regrouped and started making meaningful and fierce attacking moves until Victor Mwale for Moyale Barracks handled the ball inside the penalty area. Referee Ken Ngwira had no option but to award the visitors a penalty kick.

When Onesmus Mbendera stepped up to take the spot kick in the 18th minute, he was greeted with vast experience in goals by former flames goalkeeper, Macdonald Harawa, who guessed right and parried the ball away onto as far as Ishmael Ziyembe whose rushed follow up knee shot went over the cross bar.

Deus Mkutu had a chance in the 39th minute to extend the soldiers’ lead but his shot narrowly missed the target.

A minute before half time, Felix Kamwendo initiated a clever move from the middle of the park. His move saw Osman Balala and Evance Napolo responding in style with a brilliant exchange of passes towards the right where Ian Banda’s crisping clinical finish ended into the soldiers’ net. 1-1 at half time.

In the second half, the two sides fought like wounded buffaloes to salvage a win but wasn’t to be.

Moyale Barracks substitute, Mada Chiumia, was sent through by Loyd Njaliwa on the left flank in the 80th minute but defender Mada Chiumia for Nchalo United (no relationship) came forth from his centre back position to sweep the ball very clean off his feet, woke up, and made a comfortable clearance. He perhaps reminded old timers the sweeping antics of Patrick Mabedi and Peter Mponda. When the final whistle was blown it was Moyale Barracks 1 and Nchalo United 1.

Speaking after the match, Nchalo United Coach, Charles Manda, said it was a good game but his side was disturbed by Moyale’s long and high balls.

“I am happy that we have collected four points from this outing. It’s unfortunate that our penalty was saved but I can tell you that we haven’t come into the league to donate points. Our presence will really be felt in the league,” explained Manda.

His opposite number, Charles Kamanga, told Nyasa Times that Nchalo United was a good side and praised his charges for the day’s performance. He added that as a club, they never missed the services of Khuda Muyaba and applauded Gastin Simkonda’s spirited performance.

If FAM’s verdict on Nchalo United regarding their Carlsberg Cup game against Chitipa United last year is anything to go by, the three points they got on Saturday will be frozen as part of their punishment for their involvement in attempting to bribe officiating personnel in that game

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