The TNM Super League match between Moyale Barracks and Savenda Chitipa United ended in a goalless draw at Mzuzu Stadium on Sunday but was characterised by tension caused by the referee’s inaccurate decisions and traditional beliefs at recess.
From the first whistle, Savenda Chitipa United looked comfortable on the ball with beautiful passes and dangerous attacking moves especially on the right where Christopher Mtambo was operating from.
However, both camps had their members of the technical panel standing up now and then to complain to the fourth official, David Chinoko, over decisions that were being made by the middle man; referee Stephano Gomani.
Savenda Chitipa United central midfield comprising of Irven Mwakapenda and dread rocked Emmanuel Muyira gave the soldiers much trouble forcing coach Collins Mkuna to pull out Deus Nkutu and Clifford Fukizi for Brown Magaga and Boyboy Chima respectively in the 29th and 43rd minutes.
When the referee blew for recess, Savenda Chitipa United found the door into their dressing room smeared with unknown fluid and green herbs spread on the entrance. This forced Coach Alex Ngwira to have his pep talk away from the dressing room on the veranda of the VIP toilets.
After 11 minutes into the second half, Savenda Chitipa United broke through and Shenton Banda’s powerful shot at goal was punched away for a corner by goalkeeper Macdonald Harawa. Banda unleashed another thunderous shot a minute later but Harawa, again pulled a marvellous save.
Chritopher Mtambo for Savenda Chitipa United continued to cause havoc on the right flank and Moyale Barracks wing back, Chisomo Magombo, earned himself a second yellow card for a second dangerous foul on Mtambo which culminated into a red card.
Moyale Barracks Team Manager, Victor Phiri, was shown a red card by referee Stephano Gomani for violently protesting against the referee’s decisions.
The closest chance for the soldiers in the second half was when their captain, Gastin Simkonda, took a free kick that found Charles Nkhoma in the penalty area but Nkhoma’s header was parried over the cross bar by goalkeeper Jeremiah Simfukwe.
The game ended goalless and Savenda Chitipa United’s Christopher Mtambo was voted man of the match.
Moyale Barracks supporters invaded the pitch after the final whistle and manhandled referee Stephano Gomani.
Speaking to Nyasa Times after the match, Moyale Barracks coach, Collins Mkuna, said Savenda Chitipa United were good in the midfield and wanted to win the game.
“The referee was totally incompetent. He didn’t know what to do. I can’t say he was biased. Both teams played very well but officiation was very poor,” added Mkuna.
Savenda Chitipa United coach, Alex Ngwira, said it was pleasing that his side was collecting points both at home and away.
“My boys played very well but the referee was also failing to control the game. For us a point away is enough. My boys are working hard and I am very sure the team will survive in the league,” explained Ngwira.
Moyale Barracks is on position 8 with 25 points from 18 games while Savenda Chitipa United is on position 11 with 20 points, also from 18 games.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :