Civil Sporting Club Saturday stunned and handed a first defeat of the season to TNM league leaders, Red Lions 1- 0 at Civo stadium in Lilongwe.
The Servants got their goal through their substitute Fletcher Bandawe just four minutes into the second half. Bandawe was introduce three minutes to half time when they pulled out Solomon Botha.
Red Lion’s defeat has opened the battle for the top spot with second placed Mighty Be Forward Wanderers as now they are equal on points 12 each, goal aggregate is plus six each and the leaders have played three more games than the latter.
Civil Sporting have registered their second win of the season and have moved from position 14 to 12 with seven points from seven games.
They first win was against Blantyre United 1-0.
Red Lions were outplayed in both halves and the servants squandered three clear chances through their captain Righteous Banda and were also denied three penalty appeals by referee Alex Kamwendo.
The Servants nearly went into lead through Banda but his effort was saved by Red Lions keeper, Jacob Banda in the 35th minute and eight minutes later Banda’s shot from close range went over the bar.
Just four minutes after break, Civil Sporting got an all important goal through substitute Bandawe and Red Lions never responded to the situation in order to force the game to draw.
Sensing danger, Coach Mike Kumanga for Red Lions rested Loti Chawinga for Boniface Kaulesi and minutes later he brought in Innocent Tanganyika for Kumbukani Mwambeni but both moves paid no dividend.
Civil Sporting stood firm and contained the visitors as they kept Peter Makwale and Mphatso at bay.
” It was a tough game but we are happy we have won it. We encouraged our players to play well and they have done it. We thank God for the job well done.” Assistant Coach for Civil Sporting Oscar Kaunda said.
He said since they are building up a team and the win has encouraged them that they can do more in the next fixtures.
Assistant Coach for Red Lions Prichard Mwanza lamented that, ” We did not play our normal game especially in the second half.”
He explained that they will sit down to look at the critical areas to rectify.
Mwanza observed that the defeat does not mean they are out of track saying there are more games to play and win.
Azam Tigers are now on top spot with 12 points from seven games and Reds Lions are second while Wanderers are third.
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