Gastin Simukonda’s 83rd minute goal was enough for Mzuzu-based Moyale Barracks FC to secure a point in a 1-1 draw of all-soldiers affair against Zomba-based Red Lions FC in the TNM Super League match which was played at the Zomba Community Centre ground on Saturday.
It was a balanced game in the opening quarter with both sides playing with caution. But having gone seven games unbeaten since Moyale coach Temwa Msuku took over the team, the soldiers from Kaning’ina were unequalled in terms of attacking.
Simukonda, who was also voted ‘man of the match’ was a marvel to watch with his darting runs around his markers. At one point the striker could have put his side ahead but his effort went marginally wide of the goalmouth.
The home side retaliated through hardworking Kumbukani Mwambene upfront but Moyale goalkeeper Macdonald Harawa was equal to the challenge. The first half finished goalless.
Soon after resumption, Red Lions pulled out Kelvin Katema for Boniface Kaulesi. The move paid dividends when Kaulesi swung up-field to nod the ball home from a well-taken corner kick by another substitute Edwin Ng’oma.
The goal brought controversy as Moyale bench was dissatisfied with the assistant referee Dishon Phiri’s decision to award the Zomba-based soldiers a corner-kick instead of a goal-kick. This resulted in FIFA referee Dennis Ngulube to send off coach Msuku, team manager Victor Phiri and another official.
As the game progressed, the visitors pressed hard for an equalizer and were paid-off when Simukonda lashed on a long ball from Chrispin Fukizi on the right and released a cracking shot which went past Red Lions goal minder Jacob Kaunda to the relief of his team mates.
In a post-match interview, Moyale Barracks assistant coach Themba Mtontholo bemoaned poor officiation but was quick to point out that his charges will focus on their last game against Big Bullets at the Kamuzu Stadium on Sunday.
His counterpart Collins Nkuna said his charges lost concentration towards the end of the game.
Elsewhere, Mafco 3 Escom United 0, Blue Eagles 2 Bvumbawe Research 1 and Mighty Wanderers 2 Azam Tigers 0.