Mighty Be Forward Wanderers were in top form on Saturday as they beat Zomba based soldiers Red Lions in a high profile friendly match played at the Balaka Stadium.
The Nomads technical panel featured Bester Phiri in goals, Bongani Kaipa, Foster Namwera and Stewart Gerald in defence.
In midfield, they featured Mike Kaziputa, Luka Milanzi, Sparrow Msowoya Rafiq Namwera and Patrick Gunde as a defending midfielder while Peter Wadabwa and Jimmy Zakazaka partenered upfront.
On the other hand, Red Lions starting line up comprised of old guards having featured Clement Mlomba in goals, Mphatso Ngwira, Gibson Nkhonjera, Innocent Mlima, Matthews Simbeyi, Boniface Kaulesi, Kumbukani Mwambene and Stanley Dube.
The game started on a high note with both teams searching for an early lead.
But it was Wanderers who scored first in the 17th minute through Jimmy Zakazaka who tipped over Red Lions goalkeeper Mlomba following a goal mouth scramble.
The goal gave the nomads some vigour as they exchange some good passes led by their talented left winger Mike Kaziputa, Namwera and twin strikers Zakazaka and Wadabwa who were found almost at every place in the field of play.
Red Lions however with their physical style of play fought had and they got an equaliser through Bonface Kaulesi midway into the first half after he caught nomads defence napping.
Both sides displayed classic football but failed to take the lead and first half ended 1-1.
During the half time break, fans never run short of entertainment as Wanderers Japanese attacker Gernk Nakamula showed some passing skills with fellow sustitute players.
Wanderers made a double substitution immediately after recess bringing in Rafiq Mussa and Nakamula replacing Rafiq Namwera and Sparrow Msowoya.
The substitution was productive in the 52nd minute when Zakazaka beat the offside trap to put the ball at the back of the net after he again tipped over helpless Mlomba in goals.
Sensing danger, Red Lions coach Prichard Mwansa made a triple substitution by bringing in Dickson Mbetewa Junior, Lot Chabinga and goalkeeper Duncan Kaunda replacing Mlomba, Kaulesi and Simbeyi.
The substitution seemed to have worked for the soldiers as they started to pile pressure on the Nomads.
Newly introduced Chabinga nearly leveled the scores in the 64th minute but his briliant long range short hit the side netting.
The Nomads also kept on knocking on Red Lions goal as Wadabwa and Zakazaka’s deadly combination kept on terrorising the soldiers defence.
Wanderers again introduced Felix Zulu in place of Luka Milanzi.
Zulu who is reported to have been promoted from their youth side was a marvel to watch with his tantalizing skills to the excitement of Nomads fans who filled Balaka stadium to capacity.
The Japanese attacker Nakamula who struggled to settle down and cope up with the tempo of the game produced a single notable and important set up to Khumbo Ng’ambi who failed to score after the keeper snatched the ball from his foot in a man to man situation.
The nomads were awarded a penalty in the 82nd minute after a Lions defender had handled the ball in the penalty box.
Wadabwa made no mistake but sent the keeper the opposite direction.
He was few minutes later rested for Dave Pashani.
The Nomads were denied another penalty after Nakamula was twice brought down back to back in the penalty box.
Speaking after the match, Wanderers Technical Director Jack Chamangwana said he is happy with the perfomance of his players and the progress made so far.
He further urged Nomads fans not to focus on results during the pre-season friendly games as he is still building the team.
“What you should know is that when you are playing friendly games you keep on changing players and you assess players every game.
“And if you go by losing, drawing and winning that means something is happening and it means you know what you are doing,” Chamangwana told Nyasa Times.
Nyasa Times failed to talk to Red Lions coach and any of the officials as they went straight into the dressing room after the final whistle.
The Nomads face Mafco on Sunday afternoon in another friendly encounter at the Balaka Stadium.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :