Barely four days after losing their sponsorship from Carlsberg Malawi Limited, Mighty Wanderers had to forget all their sponsorship woes to produce a fantastic come back to beat Red Lions Football Club 2-1 from behind and hand the soldiers their first defeat of the season.
Wanderers were also responsible in breaking the unbeaten run of Azam Tigers in the season last weekend at the same Balaka stadium.
The Nomads featured Jacob Ngwira and Alfred Manyozo Junior on the middle of the park but Timothy Chitedze who was supposed to partner Innocent Dzimbiri upfront was dropping deep into the midfield.
Red Lions showed some brilliant football starting from the back line led by Mphatso Ngwira and Loti Chawinga together with his twin striker Kumbukani Mwambene were also marvellous.
In the 25th minute, Timothy Chitedze almost put Mighty Wanderers ahead but his final shot after dribbling past two defenders went narrowly wide.
Red Lions also responded well and nearly punished the Nomads after their keeper Bester Phiri left his goal line only to miss the ball.
Sensing danger and noticing lack of killer punch upfront, Red Lion’s coach for the day Mike Kumanga brought in Boniface Kaulesi and Banjamin Kalua for Willard John and Edwin Ng’oma immediately after recess.
The substitution tactically worked well for Kumanga as Benjamin Kalua proved to be a super sub when he notched the ball home from close range to give the soldiers a lead in the 59th minute.
Red Lions used their physical power to disturb the Nomads and ended up attracting yellow cards from referee Beyard Winga. Boniface Kaulesi and Chikoti Chirwa were among the players cautioned.
Mighty Wanderers were awarded a corner in the 34th minute which was beautifully taken by substitute Mayeso Mphanje-his first touch after being introduced in the 33rd minute alongside Mapopa Msukwa replacing
Mike Kaziputa and Victor Mpinganjira respectively.
The corner led into a goal thanks to a well driven header by Innocent Dzimbiri.
As the Soldiers started to launch some delaying tactics hoping for a draw, Mighty Wanderers kept on pilling pressure on them.
The never say die Nomads made their final substitution bringing in Kondwani Kumwenda for captain Alfred Manyozo Junior.
Kumwenda came from nowhere to blast the ball into the net at the stoppage time following a goal mouth scramble.
The goal send the whole Balaka Stadium dominated by Nomads supporters into wild and uncontrollable celebration.
Mphatso Ngwira nearly cut the Nomads celebration shot when his beautiful strike from a free kick hit the cross bar.
And 2-1 it ended in favour of Mighty Wanderers.
Mighty Wanderers Assistant coach Albert Mpinganjira said he was not surprised with the win as it was a planned mission.
“We are happy that we have won and this is what we had planned,” said Mpinganjira.
“We struggled in the opening minutes because we were disturbed; these army teams play physical game and they use long balls so to concede that goal I can say we were disturbed,” he said.
Kumanga , standing-in for Collins Nkuna accepted the defeat and applauded his boys for hard working spirit.
Lions Loti Chawinga was named man-of-the-match.
“It is a painful defeat to lose this game; this is our first defeat in nine games now but we hope to get back to winning ways,” said Chawinga.
Mighty Wanderers now have 17 points from nine games while Red Lions still have 18 points from the same number of games.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :