Peter Wadabwa scored a brace as Mighty Be Forward Wanderers cruised through to the quarterfinals of the Presidential cup following a 4-3 win over Red Lions at the Kamuzu stadium.
Wanderers who earlier this week made changes to their technical panel with Eddington Ng’onamo replacing Jack Chamangwana as head Coach saw the new tactician taking charge for the first time.
There was no much difference with the pattern of play to signal coaching change, perhaps it is too early to judge Ng’onamo.
The standard of play was the same Chamangwana awful defencively-naive.
It was Red Lions who posed a lot of danger as they had several goal attempts in most part of the first half despite failing to turn their chances into goals.
Wanderers, however , broke the deadlock in added time before recess with Rafik Mussa heading in an Ibrahim Sadick free-kick.
The Lali-Lubani boys began the second half a better team. No wonder, they got a second goal in the 59 minute with veteran Peter Wadadwa powering in a low shot that beat Lions keeper Clement Mlombwa.
Five minutes after the hour mark, Wadabwa completed his brace after beating an offside trap to tap in Wanderers third goal.
A few minutes later, Wanderers were 4-0nil up with Isaac Kaliati curling in from almost 25 meters off the goal post.
As the home fans were thinking the game is over, Red Lions began a comeback after Wanderers had lost sensational Boston Kabango to a recurring knee injury.
The injury to Kabango created a lot of problems to Wanderers and no wonder the Zomba based soldiers scored three goals within a space of 10 minutes with Benesi Kaisi and Kumbukani Mwambene among the scores.
However, despite the late fight back, the Zomba based soldiers failed to get the fourth goal that could have forced the match into post-match penalties.
Speaking to reporters after the final whistle, Wanderers Assistant Coach Elia Kananji said he was delighted with the victory.
“We are happy that we have progressed but not with the way we defended towards the last few minutes. We hope to rectify that in our next games,” said Kananji.
In his remarks, Red Lions Coach Mike Kumanga said he was happy with his troop’s fight back despite failing to get the fourth goal.
He however wished Wanderers good luck in the quarterfinals of the competition.
Eagled beat Silver
Elsewhere, high flying TNM Super League leader Blue Eagles booted out Silver Strikers 4-2 in the capital city derby to sail through and book a date with Nyasa Big Bullets.
The match was won in post match penalties which saw heroics of goalkeeper Chakondwa Majanga saving two penalties.
During the penalty shoot outs, only captain Lucky Malata and Thuso Paipi converted their spot kicks for the Central Bankers.
On the other hand, the visiting Eagles converted their penalties through former Fomboni FC striker Wister Phiri, Phillip Masiye, Gilbert Chirwa and Chisomo Chilesa.
Blue Eagles head coach Deklerk Msakakuoa described the match as very difficult but applauded his players for putting up a gallant fight.
“It was a tough match, we knew they will come hard on us but I thank God and the players for the victory,” said Msakakuona.
He also revealed that the secret behind his teams’ five star performance this season is unity, hard work and focus.
His opposite number Lovemore Fazili conceded the defeat.
Fazili said his side played well and created several chances but they were just unlucky.
“We created several chances hitting posts in the process but luck wasn’t on our side. The players tried their best but we lost because penalties are always unpredictable,” said Fazili.
In round of 16 matches played on Wednesday, Mafco thumped Azam Tigers 4-1: Wizards FC lost to Max Bullets 2-1 while Kabwafu beat Mchengautuba 4-3 on post match penalties as the two sides were held to a 1-1 draw after regulation time.
Kabwafu is the only lower league side to have progressed to the next phase.—Additional reporting by Elijah Phimbi, Nyasa TimesFollow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :