Zomba based military side Red Lions on Sunday came from behind to beat Master Security Services 2-1 in a fiercely high tempered encounter played at the Balaka Stadium.
The game failed to live to people’s expectations after being characterised and dominated by nasty tackles as both sides applied a
more physical approach.
The game had to be stopped just four minutes after kick off after Red Lions goalkeeper Brighton Ngwenya was pushed by a Master Security while in the air as he was trying to cut a cross from the right flank.
The incident happened seconds after Lions captain Chikoti Chirwa limped off after being knocked but he managed to return into the field of play after receiving treatment.
The soldiers were forced to make an early substitution after injured keeper Ngwenyama threw in the towel and appealed for a replacement.
He was replaced with Jacob Kaunda who also did a good job.
The soldiers had an upper hand in terms of attacking as they on several occassions knocked at Master Security goal.
Veteran defender Benesi ‘Ninja’ Kaisi had his powerful header blocked by a team-mate in the 32nd minute before Innocent Bokosi had his tap in tipped over the cross bar by Master Security goal custodian Bester Phiri formerly of Mighty Be Forward Wanderers in a one-on-one situation.
Red Lions brought in Kumbukani Mwambene replacing injured Matthews Simbeyi who also received a knock.
First half ended in a 0-0 stalemate.
The game never short of drama after the referee blew the final whistle marking the end of the first 45 minutes when Master Security
goalkeeper Phiri fell to the ground on his own near the goal post and called for First Aid treatment.
A Red Lions official also invaded the pitch and went straight where Phiri was to be treated suspecting there was Juju.
After about four minutes of confrontation, the goalkeeper stood up and left for dressing room while complaining of heart burn.
One minute after recess, overlapping defender Kaisi almost gave his side the lead but failed to capitalise on a loose ball as his shot
from inside the box was shot completely wide.
Master Security Captain Richard Chande who flashed with a yellow card in the firt half escaped a red card midway into the second half after he deliberately handled the ball 30 yards from his goal as the Lions launched a counter attack.
Thereafter, Master Security started to play one-touch football against the Lions who maintained their usual style of using long and aerial balls.
Master were awarded a penalty in the 67th minute after Innocent Mlima handled the ball from a deflected shot in the penalty area.
Limbani Phiri stepped in and made no mistake but to convert the spot kick sending Kaunda the wrong making it 1-0.
The joy and excitement was cut shot a minute later when substitute Mwambene slotted the ball home following a goal mouth scramble
following a counter attack.
They continued to pile pressure and float the ball into the Master Security penalty area in search of a lead.
Eneya Banda for Master Security was stretched off unconcious after he was hit with the ball in the stomach from a Lottie Chawinga’s powerful strike. He was later taken to hospital after regaining concious and was replaced with Francisco Nahiti.
Master also made some tactical changes bringing in Chimwemwe Royal for Cyrus Nyasulu and Kelvin Phiri for Olson Kanjira but never got it right.
However, it was the soldiers who took the lead through Chawinga who beautifully manouvered between two defenders before unleashing a shot from close range beating helpless Master Security goalkeeper Phiri.
At the end 2-1 was the final scoreline to the excitement of Red Lions Assistant Coach Prichard Mwansa.
He however described the game unimpressive despite the win.
“I am happy that we have gotten the results but it wasn’t an impressive game all together. Our friends were very physical resulting
into injuries of our players. People who patronised the match were not entertained and I can describe this game as the worst we have played this season” Mwansa told Nyasa Times in a post-match interview.
Commenting on officiation, Mwansa said: “The referee was fairly good but he was taking long to make decisions”.
On his part, Master Security Care Taker Coach Jabil Maliro attributed the loss to fatigue.
“We didn’t play our usual game in one way because of fatigue that is why we also received so many yellow cards because the boys were tired after another tough match on Saturday,” said Maliro.
He also blamed their opponents for extreme raising tempers which he said disturbed his boys after they had lost concentration.
With the win, the soldiers have squeezed themselves into the top eight.
They now occupy position seven with 19 points from 13 games.
Also on 19 points are Wizards FC but the two are separated with goal difference.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :