Karonga Utd’s relegation is all but confirmed: Malawi TNM Super League

Karonga United are demoted to the Northern Reguon league following a humiliating 3 -0 defeat at the hands of championship contenders Kamuzu Barracks on Friday at Mzuzu Stadium confirming their relegation.

Karonga United demotion is confirmed
K.B celebrating

Kick off was delayed and referee James Chisunkha had to blow the very first whistle with ten players on either side.

To the dismay of spectators and everybody that came to watch the game, a player from either side could not get into the field of play for the game to kick off as they both appeared to be superstitious.

Davie Mwalughali for Karonga United wanted to be the last player to enter the field of play while Vincent Mphepo for Kamuzu Barracks also wanted twenty one players to get in first so that he goes in last.

There was drama as the referee kept waiting for the two players to get in but each one of them faked a muscle cramp which had to be treated before entering the pitch with the aim of getting in as the last person.

The two players got onto the field of play after 1 minute 38 seconds and referee James Chisunkha welcomed them with a yellow card each.

The game was scrappy in the first 45 minutes as both sides failed to weave important attacking passes together and Davie Banda’s shot in the 6th minute, which was parried over the cross bar by Karonga United’s goalkeeper Tumpale Mwalwanda, was only thing to talk about.

Dan Ziba had to replace injured Diof Simaone on the side of Kamuzu Barracks in the 30th minute.

And 9 minutes into the second half, KB’s attack resulted into a very cold goalmouth scramble and Kelvin Hanganda’s very weak shot went below Karonga United goalkeeper’s arms into the net for the MDF soldiers to lead 1 nil.

Hanganda’s goal gave the soldiers confidence as they started enjoying a bigger share of possession with veteran Davie Banda, Gift Mbwana and Dan Ziba controlling things in the middle of the park.

Coach Billy Phambala pulled out the scorer, Kelvin Hanganda, in the 69th minute to allow another lethal striker, Manase Chiyesa, display his prowess.

A well taken free kick by Davie Banda in the 76th minute found experienced Harvey Mkacha who nodded the ball down for Manase Chiyesa to tap into Karonga United’s goal. 2 nil; the soldiers were still on the driving seat.

A defensive blunder by Karonga United in the 82nd minute, allowed the hungry Harvey Mkacha to collect the ball on the goal mouth and register his name on the scoring sheet for the soldiers.

Manase Chiyesa could have made it 4 nil a minute in the added time when he managed to beat Karonga United’s goalie on the ground but his shot went well over the cross bar.

When James Chisunkha blew the final whistle, it was Karonga United nil, and Kamuzu Barracks 3.

Speaking after the match, coach for Karonga United,Oscar Kaunda, said it was a bad and painful experience to lose by such a wide margin. He attributed the loss to poor goal keeping and that KB kept the ball in the air which disturbed his player’s system of play.

The victorious coach, Billy Phambala, told Nyasa Times that it was a tough match but he discovered Karonga United’s weaknesses in the first 45 minutes and his plan to punish them in the second half worked very well.

“This is a very important win for us. We are playing Dwangwa United in our final fixture of the season and I can assure you that Dwangwa United will sweat and cry after 90 minutes. This was the game that was giving us a headache but with Dwangwa, my players know what to do to collect the maximum three points at Chitowe,” retorted the much confident Phambala.

Kamuzu Barracks are still at the top of the TNM Super League log table with 58 points now; one ahead of defending champions Nyasa Big Bullets.

Karonga United have wound up the season with 27 points and are expected to play in the second tier Simama League of the Northern Region of Malawi, come 2017.

Should Kamuzu Barracks beat Dwangwa United in their last encounter, they will become the first Malawi Defence Force team to be crowned champions of the country’s top flight league.

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