A double substitution in the second half steered third placed, Silver Strikers to a 3-0 emphatic win over bottom of the table and relegation bound, Chitipa United at Silver Stadium in Area 47, Lilongwe.
The injection of Green Harawa and captain Blessings Tembo in the 56th minute changed Silver’s attacking dimension and saw the opening of the floodgates to the delight of half hearted Silver fans.
Silver have 50 points from 25 games eight short of leaders Mighty Be Forward Wanderers while Chitipa United are still rooted with 16 points from 26 games.
However, they still hope a miracle can take them back to the top , but team manager Francis Songo said they will fight on to win their remaining matches and hope that other teams slip up.
The first 19 minutes the visitors, Chitipa United were displaying colourful football with their deadrocked man Enock Alfred upfront giving pressure to Silver’s central defence of Chisomo Mpachika and Travor Kalema.
Credit should go to the young looking goal minder for Chitipa United, Lloyd Munthali for his alertness.
Leading goal scorer, Mathews Sibale was denied in the 22nd minute when his thunderbolt at the edge was penalty box kissed the cross bar and rebound by Victor Limbani was saved by Chitipa goalie, Munthali.
Silver’s Binwell Katinji’s goal bound shot was cleared on the line by Peter Mughogho In the 38th minute.
Sibale nearly broke the deadlock at the dot of half time when unbelievably failed to connect Limbani’s cross from the right flank of the northern goal.
The ties were tied at 0-0 at half time and Silver fans were not comfortable with scoreline.
Silver made a double substitution in the 56th minute when they brought in Harawa and Tembo for Limbani and Thuso Paipi a move that bailed out Silver in quest for the title chase.
Just three minutes into the pitch, substitute Harawa released a grounder after being put through by Tembo and his effort kissed the empty net for Chitipa for the opener.
In the 68th minute Silver’s left winger, Duncan Nyoni floated the ball into the D-zone and Chitipa keeper, Munthali fumbled it into touch for a corner.
Chitipa introduced Alick Phiri for Barnet Mwamsamali in order to strengthen their attacking pattern in the 70th minute.
United’s Aubrey Chirambo could have cancelled the lead in the 73rd minute but his shot was cleared on the line by Kalema when goalie Brighton Munthali was eluded in the process.
Chitipa’s defender Mughogho again denied Sibale to increase his goal tally when he cleared his effort on the goal line in the 79th minute.
The Bankers winger, Nyoni doubled the lead in the 84th minute when he put through by Katinji and drove shot pass Munthali 20 metres out.
Silver’s left back, Mark Fodya claimed a third for his team when his direct free kick was curved in with Chitipa keeper Munthali out of reach in the 91st minute.
Chitipa United could have got a consolation goal in the 93rd minute when Clement Mwalwanda blasted over at the mercy of Silver goalie, Munthali after being put through by Emmanuel Muyira.
” I would like to thank the technical panel for Silver for making that we’ll calculated substitution. Chitipa was too strong for us in the first half,” Silver supporter from Kauma, Dennis Phiri observed.
He said it appears the Chitipa side has a solid defence and good keeper but Silver used experience to unlock them.
A soccer fan from Area 25, Joe Chidiwa added the remaining games are proving tough and no team should under rated.
” Credit should go to Chitipa United for putting up a gallant fight and we watched an entertaining game. They can be a tough team to play them at their back yard,” he said..
When Silver fans were celebrating that they team may reduce the gap a word came from Blantyre that Wanderers had scored through Isaac Kaliati against Azam Tigers.
Minutes later, Bullest fans were seen celebrating as Zodiak radio had said Nelson Kangunje scored in the 89th minute against Mzuni.
Silver fans trooped out of the stadium disappointed when they thought they had reduced the gap of the two Blantyre teams.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :