A lone goal by Schumaker Kuwali after 33 minutes in the second half was enough to earn Blue Eagles three points and dented Silvers Strikers hopes of dislodging leaders Red Lions at the Summit of the TNM Super League.
Kuwali tapped in from close range after connecting a dangerous cross from Gilbert Chirwa in a match that had little chances played before a sizeable crowd at Nankhaka Ground in Lilongwe on Saturday.
Both teams created little chances but Eagles managed to grab the deserved winner after Kuwali made amends for missing two clear chances earlier in the game.
Although the Bankers had a lion’s share of possession in the first segment of the match, it was a more balanced affair with both teams in search for a goal but there was little to write about.
The absence of key midfielders Philip Masiye and Japhet Mambelera forced Eagles Decklerk Nsakakuona to deploy defender Ken Mponda in midfield which allowed Bankers more space to manoeuver with the ball.
Eagles could have opened the scores in the 12 minutes but Kuwali shot wide, sensing danger, Silver reorganized themselves but Eagles defence marshalled by Maxwell Masiyano stood firm to deny Bankers dangerous attacking duo of Green Harawa and Chawanangwa Kaonga.
The two teams came in the second half changed sides with Eagles pressuring the visitors taking control of the midfield, Micium Mhone, Chirwa and captain John Banda showed some signs of hunger for a goal.
Harawa was at some point denied by the woodwork after a wonderful cross from Rodrick Gonani.
As teams were a heading for a goalless draw, in the 33 minutes Kuwali had the answer to silence the Bankersl.
This means Eagles have claimed a double over Silver after defeating them in the first round with the same margin.
As it stands
Eagles now have 37 points from 23 games while Silver are now third with 38 points from the same number of games.
In post-match interview, Eagles coach Nsakakuona was on cloud nine saying his charges deserved to win the match.
“It was a tough game, our opponents came hard on us but we had a different plan. We are glad that we are back to winning ways after disappointing two previous games,” he said.
His counterpart Stain Chirwa said though he was disappointed with the result but the battle for the title still rages on.
“We are disappointed that we have lost a crucial match but the journey is still on, we just need to focus on the remaining five games to defend the title.” said Chirwa.
The bankers will play Mighty Wanderers away and Big Bullets at home among the five remaining games.
At Chitowe Stadium, Mafco climbed to second position of the TNM super league with 39 points after a 2-0 win over leaders Red Lions to narrow the gap to just one point at the top with five games to wind up the season.
At Kalulu Stadium in Lower Shire, promoted head coach Gerald Phiri’s reign for Big Bullets got off with a 1-1 draw against Blantyre United.
Azam Tigers drew 0-0 with struggling Civo United away at Dedza Stadium also on Saturday.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :