Mzuzu University Football Club (Mzuni FC) needed two goals from Edward Mangani and Uchindami Nyasulu to beat their arch rivals Karonga United to reach the regional phase in the K120 million Presidential cup played at Mzuzu stadium Wednesday.
The game which was earlier abandoned after the two teams’ supporters violently clashed following a goal that Karonga United scored to level the scores at 2-2 had to be rescheduled after the tournament’s disciplinary committee fined Mzuni K15, 000 and Karonga United K5, 000 for causing the fracas.
Mzuni’s handful supporters who vocally out-numbered their opponents raised the tempo of the match from the word go when they cheered their team in a bid to intimidate the visitors.
The students controlled the early stages of the match through their tightly packed midfield of Edward Mangani, Junior Mkumba, Joshua Tembo and experienced Smith Kadawati who pinned United in their own half.
Mzuni drew first blood in the 20<sup>th minute when a well curled shot from Kadawati found Mangani who quickly turned round two stationery Karonga defenders before shooting a square ball which sent United goal tender, Donald Zgambo the wrong way.
Karonga instantly responded to the conceded goal by piling intense pressure on the retaliating Mzuni team with on and off counter-attacks from Raphael Phiri and Fyaupi Kisyombe who was shifted to the midfield to help the engine room tick.
In the 54th minute, youngster Raphael Phiri scored the equalizer after collecting a loose ball that Mzuni failed to clear away.
Mzuni unleashed a shocker in the 87th minute after a Karonga defense mix up between Fyaupi Kisyombe and Wakisa Ngana which left Uchindami Nyasulu unmarked.
“I am very happy for winning this game especially after the controversies that surrounded the match which led us into switching of a few players which in the end worked for us,” Mzuni coach Alex Ngwira said.
His counterpart Rudoviko Nyirenda, however, blamed the loss on the organizing committee of the competition who arranged the replay without prior communication on where and when the game would be played.
Mzuni will now take on Super League rookies Mzuzu United in what would be a reminder of the tight race that these two teams competed in the TNM Super League promotion which the latter won.–Malawi News AgencyFollow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :