Civo United coach ‘Sir’ Alex Masanjala congratulated their capital city rival Silver Striker on their TNM Super League title win – and maintained but for injuries his team would have run them close.
The civil servants saw their own championship hopes ended by successive away defeats to Zomba United and then Big Bullets in their final match after dragging themselves back into contention earlier this season.
They went on to secure fourth place.
Masanjala, however, insists had Civo – who finished some four points off the pace – not lost the likes of Emmauel Zoya, Joseph Kachule, John Lanjesi and John Ng’ambi at various stages of the campaign, then the final-day outcome could have been much different.
“Congratulations to Silver, to coaches and the players,” said the Civo coach.”For us it was important to finish well and we did it.”
“Silver is a good team, they work hard and they are worthy it. To us this will be like motivation seeing our neighbours being crowned champions and we will try our best to win the Presidential Cup,” he said.
Civo lost their last league match to resurgent Bullets at their own back yard on Saturday.
They employed teenager center back Patience Kalumo and less experienced Gerald Mhango at the back. It was in the opening five minutes when the make shift defense started showing signs of weaknesses as a defensive error by Lazarus Chirwa nearly gifted Fisher Kondowe an opener, only for him to see his attempted shot go wide.
Three minutes later Civo started to settle and Charles Ben’s marauding runs saw him creating room for Martin Masoatheka, but he could not take his header to the top corner, only to direct the ball into the hands of goalie Vincent Gona.
Kondowe thought he had done enough to separate the boys from the men in the 35th minute, after his well driven shot managed to beat the keeper (Onani Sengwa) but only to be denied by the woodwork.
In the second half, it was Bullets who looked desperate to break the deadlock, as it only took 13 minutes to enforce their attack by bringing in Jelesi lufeyo and Samson Chonde for Waile Tambeta and Charles Kalaile.
Bullet’s changes looked to have boosted their quest for an opener as the new boys started causing many problems to the host.
With only 10 minutes left Yamikani Fodya galloped the left flank and put through Godfrey Masonda who danced his way to goal before unleashing unstoppable shot which Onani Sengwa could not tame it.
Civo tried to salvage a point by introducing Jabulani Linje and Lakibu Milanzie in place of Davie Ng’ambi and Dixon Mbetewa junior but to no avail.
“We did not have the players available to fight for the championship. When you go into the final sprint, you need your squad available but we had too many injuries.”
Masanjala is set to strengthen the squad.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :