Twice this season, cup specialists Mighty Be Forward Wanderers have failed to beat Mzuni FC in the TNM Super League.They lost 4-2 at home at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre in the first round, and drew 1-1 in their final assignment on Saturday at Mzuzu Stadium.
Mentor for the Nomads, Yassin Osman, had several of his key players on the bench including match maker Joseph kamwendo, Alfred Manyozo Junior, Stanley Sanudi, Jaffali Chande, Mike Kaziputa as well as Isaac Kaliyati allowing Louis Minjale, Malumbo Gondwe, Felix Zulu, Ibrahim Sadik, Amos Bello and Khumbo Ng’ambi to be in the starting eleven.
Goals could not come in the first half and the game became very physical. Khumbo Banda for Mzuni FC was given marching orders by referee Misheck Juwa six minutes before recess for two bookable offences which earned him two yellow cards and eventually a red.
Isaac Kaliyati was then introduced to replace Kondwani Lufeyo for the nomads at the start of the second half.
Three minutes into the second half, Amos Bello rose high to connect a cross from the left with his head into Mzuni’s net beating goalkeeper Happy Msowoya.
Coach Alex Ngwira for Mzuni decided to pull out Frastone Chisi in the 61st minute and pushed in Zeliat Nkhoma to add power to his ten man squad.
The change paid dividends as the Green Intellectuals started attacking fiercely until the substitute Zeliat Nkhoma received a beautiful cross from the left and shot past the nomads’ goalie Richard Chipuwa for the scoreboard to read 1-1.
The students continued piling pressure on the cup specialists and sensing danger, Yassin Osman called for the services of Jaffali Chande and Mike Kaziputa in the 78th minute replacing Khumbo Ng’ambi and Ibrahim Sadik respectively.
Twice in succession, goalkeeper Richard Chipuwa for Wanderers had to parry explosive shots from angry Mzuni attackers to save his team from a second loss at the hands of the students this season.
Jaffali Chande’s goal for Wanderers in the 80th minute was ruled out as assistant referee Jonazio Luwizi had his flag up for off side.
Speaking after the match, Wanderers Coach Yassin Osman said he knew Mzuni would come flat out to maintain their record of troubling Wanderers but he could not risk all his important players to unnecessary injuries ahead of the prestigious “Bus Ipite” second leg match against their bitter rivals Nyasa Big Bullets in Lilongwe on Monday.
“I am not surprised that the game has ended this way. There was nothing really that we were fighting for in this game. Whatever the outcome, I don’t think it could have any impact on the log table. That’s why we had to give chance to other players as we focus on our important game against Bullets on Monday after which we hope win that bus,” explained Osman.
His opposite number Alex Ngwira said his players played a very good game despite the red card which somehow disturbed his game plan.
“That red card disturbed us. I tell you if I had all my players on the field, Wanderers fans would have cried again today,” concluded Ngwira.
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