Mighty Wanderers FC Sunday qualified for the semi-final of the ongoing Standard Bank Knockout Trophy after beating Zomba based soldiers Red
Lions 2-0 in a thrilling encounter played at Balaka Stadium.
The game lived below expectations in the opening ten minutes as both teams struggled to settle down.
The soldiers came close to scoring in the 16th minute but striker Lot Chawinga fell on his own inside the penalty box.
Two minutes later, Innocent Bokosi produced a powerful shot but Richard Chipuwa who has returned in the first team after a long period of time was steady enough to serve the situation.
The Nomads replied few minutes later when Innocent Dzimbiri made a 360 degrees turn to produce a brilliant shot which went straight into the safe hands of Red Lions goalkeeper Jacob Kaunda.
Thereafter it was Wanderers all over as they excellently knocked the ball around.
Victor Mpinganjira, Mike Kaziputa and Timothy Chitedze were a marvel to watch as they launched brilliant counter attacks wave after wave.
No wonder the Nomads broke the deadlock in the 28th minute through a powerful strike from Innocent Dzimbiri.
The blues from Lali Lubani Road continued to have a lion share of possession throughout the first half.
Sensing danger, Red Lions made their first substitution in the 42nd minute bringing in Chikoti Chirwa for Thomas Makombwa.
In the second half, Mighty Wanderers continued from where they had stopped in the first half enjoying much of ball possession and crisp passes.
Victor Mpinganjira almost scored from a long range a minute after recess but his shot was parried away.
Hoping to increase power upfront, Red Lions again brought in fresh legs of Benjamin Kalua who replaced Boniface Kaulesi who was out of form.
The substitution proved to have made an impact as the Lions started to pressurize the nomads.
To the surprise of many, the Nomads did another damage through the on field leader Alfred Manyozo Junior who shot from outside the penalty box straight into the net.
Tempers started to flare after the second goal and the game switched more into rubgy like physical game.
This resulted into a straight red card in the 71st minute to Innocent Bokosi after elbowing to the ground Manyozo in an off the ball incident.
Nomads made some tactical changes bringing in Kondwani Kumwenda and Cuthbert Sinetre to increase the rhythm upfront and completely kill off the soldiers resting injured Manyozo Junior and Abraham Kamwendo.
It was a sweet revenge for the Nomads since Red Lions were responsible in their ousting from the Presidential and Carlsberg cups.
Red Lions coach Mike Kumanga conceded the defeat and congratulated the Nomads for the win.
“We have lost the game indeed because we didn’t play well; our opponents played well and deserved to win. They prepared well for us so I just say congratulations to them,” said Kumanga.
“We are out of the competition and now we are now going to focus to the league,” he added.
Wanderers tactician Stuart Mbolembole who has been and intense pressure following poor results was delighted.
“Sometimes working under pressure really help, I and the whole technical panel have been under pressure as the fans were looking for a positive result,” he said.
“Today’s win will surely help us to return to winning ways I feel so great,” Mbolembole said.
Meanwhile, Mighty Wanderers outspoken General Secretary David Kanyenda has urged all “Nyerere” fans to stop talking about the past and focus on the future.
“They are the same coaches we have been losing with and today we have won we don’t need to talk about the coaches what we should be discussing now is the issue of semi-finals; that’s our focus,” said Kanyenda.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :