The Zomba based military outfit, Red Lions, on Saturday commenced their second round TNM Super League assignments with a vital 1 nil win against Mzuni FC at Mzuzu Stadium.
The soldiers were as physical from the outset of the game as they employed hard and crude tackles. James Mwase lasted only 9 minutes on the field of play because his aim to hardly tackle a Mzuni player resulted into his own injury and had to be ferried to hospital immediately, allowing Henry Kamunga to take his place.
The students’ first fierce attack was in the 23rd minute when Elisher Nyirongo broke through but before he could shoot, goalkeeper Duncan Mkandawire came out in time to block him. Henry Misinjo’s well curved free kick in the 30th minute was also parried away Duncan Mkandawire.
The soldiers’ physical approach saw Mzuni’s first choice goalkeeper, Pilirani Mapira, getting seriously injured towards the end of the first half and had to be replaced by reserve goalkeeper Dalitso Khungwa.
In the 12th minute of the second half, Red Lions substitute Willard John scored the soldiers’ only goal when his thunderbolt from outside the 18 metre box deflected off a Mzuni player and ended into the students’ net.
Mzuni’s efforts to get an equaliser proved futile until the final whistle.
Speaking to Nyasa Times after the match, Mzuni FC coach, Gilbert Chirwa, said his side did not have chance to shoot at goal and Lions’ physical approach disturbed his players especially those that are very new in the team like Charles Nkhoma, Elisher Nyirongo and Chancy Mtapo.
Red Lions assistant coach, Nelson Chirwa, said it was a tough game but tactically he told his players to close down Mzuni attacks swiftly and deny them any chance to shoot at goal.
“I’m happy that we have collected 3 points. This is a good away result,” added Chirwa.
The Lions face brothers in arms, Moyale Barracks, this Sunday at the same venue.