Muhammad Sulumba came in as a second half late substitute to inspire Malawi’s Blantyre based Mighty Wanderers to a hard fought 1-nil victory over Blue Eagles in the semi-finals of this year’s Standard Bank Knockout Cup at Civo Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The Nomads welcomed back Jabulani Linje from his lengthy injury but the former Civo Service United defender struggled for fitness in the game.
Eagles opted to start with Charles Ngosi upfront but he possessed no threat as Wanderers’s defense closed him down completely.
The Nomads had their closest early chance in the opening 3 minutes through Victor Nyirenda whose effort missed the upright with some inches.
At the other end, John Banda released Shumaker Kuwali to the left flank of the field but he failed to connect well from a close range.
Richard Chipuwa in goals for the Nomads was forced into action on several minutes to deny the area 30 cops from scoring.
Five minutes before the interval, Nyirenda almost capitalized on a defensive relapse by Eagles defense but shot-stopper John Soko was equal to the task, keeping the Cops into the game.
Come second half, Ngosi, who was ineffective throughout the entire 45 minutes of the first half, was substituted for Junior Malidadi.
Few minutes after his introduction, Malidadi combined well with Banda to release Kuwali who failed to pull the trigger with Chipuwa already beaten.
Linje had his shot well saved by Soko and Isaac Kaliyati, who was not very influential for the Nomads failed to score from a free kick just close to Eagles’s goal mouth.
Seven minutes before the final whistle, Linje paved the way for Sulumba who only lasted for 3 minutes for him to find the back of the net.
Defensive relapse from the hosts’s defenders gifted Sulumba the ball to slot past defenseless Soko to send the visiting fans into massive celebrations.
That was the first goal for Sulumba since his return from South African based side, Jomo Cosmos.
The Nomads almost burried the game completely through Kaliyati but he misjudged a Stainley Sanudi’s through ball and after 90 minutes of play, it ended 1-nil in favor of the visitors.
Speaking after the final whistle, Wanderers team manager Steve Madeira hailed his boys for the hard fought victory and promised to win the trophy when they play Civo United in two weeks time.
The result means that Wanderers have reached the finals of the cup for the third time and will play Civo, a side that has never won the cup in all previous attempts.