Soccer analysts in the country have expressed worry over the goal drought in the Airtel Top 8 Cup games that have so far been played in the cup competition.
The analysts were reacting to the performance of the teams in their previous encounters in the first and second leg of the competition. In the first leg of the competition, Nyasa Big Bullets won by 1-0 against Moyale Barracks and in the return leg the match ended in barren draw.
Mighty Be Forward Wanderers, on the other hand, won 1-0 against Kamuzu Barracks in both the first and second-leg matches; both goals were converted through spot kicks. Silver Strikers beat Civil Service United 1-0 and Blue Eagles banished MAFCO 1-0.
According to the analysts, this is a sad development for the football game, saying continued trend of such results reflects poor performance of the National Team because if players are failing to score in the Super League, it implies that goals will also be scarce in the national squad.
“If the trend continues, it will contribute to the national team’s poor performance. Competition in the Super League is different from the competition on the international scene. Competition in the Super League is easier than at international level,” said Enos Chatama.
“The scoring boots are slowly on the brink of extinction; you can notice in the Super League for the past seasons, there is no top goal scorer who has scored 20 goals. Top goal scorers are just scoring 14 to 18 goals by the end of the season, that has been the average,” Chatama said.
However, he also described the development a sign of tough competition and that teams are tactically good. He noted that most teams have not been able to score more goals due to good defensive play.
He insisted that on their part, strikers are not sharp enough while defenders and goalkeepers are good by denying strikers the goals.
Chatama, therefore, stressed that it was the responsibility of coaches to find natural goal scorers who can score more goals and also develop football and a scoring habit from the grassroots.
On his part, Charles Nyirenda, one of the country’s renowned soccer analysts, said scarcity of goals in the Airtel Top 8 does not mean that there is a problem but rather an indication that there is good competition.
“The narrow margin wins show that the teams competing are indeed in the Top 8 of the Super League. It shows that Super League of Malawi is competitive. You could see the gap between the teams that were relegated last year to those on top, the gap from the first team was narrower as compared to other major leagues in Europe,” Nyirenda observed.
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) Acting Competitions Manager, Casper Jangale said lack of goals in the competition means there is balance between the teams, adding that there is more competitiveness in the Airtel Top 8.
“It only shows that our football is balancing, there is no underdog in the competition and that the teams were ready for the competition. This shows that there is high level of competition taking into consideration that there is K15 million at stake after only playing four games,” Jangale said.
“There is competitiveness in the games; you can see Bullets progressed to the Semi Finals with just only one goal, the same with Wanderers. Silver also won with a goal, the same with Blue Eagles. So, this just shows how competitive the cup is,” he added.
At least six matches had been played in the Airtel Top 8 Cup at the time of compiling this report and only five goals had been registered on the score sheet while last year, nine goals were scored after six matches in the same competition.
Bullets and Wanderers have both progressed to the semi finals of the competitionFollow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :