…collect 3 points from five games
The Blantyre based giants are passing through hell after conceding in the dying minutes to draw 1-1 with Epac FC in a league match played at Civo Stadium in Malawi’s capital on Sunday afternoon.
The Nomads coach, Eliah Kananji, made six changes to the squad that lost 1-0 to Silver Strikers on Saturday. However, it was the hosts who were having a very good game as Kelvin Thotho, Andrew Banda, Hastings Kapenuka and Lanken Mwale pressed harder in search of the much needed goals but the Nomads’ defence was solid.
Mwale had his first shot at goal well saved by Peter Munthali in goals for the visitors. The visitors were failing to control their midfield and as a result pressure was mounting too much on their defence.
Thotho missed a sitter inside the penalty box when he was released by Banda from the right flank of the field. Despite Epac’s dominance, it was the Lali Lubani boys who took a surprising lead and in dramatic fashion.
Epac defence played an offside trap, allowing Muhamad Sulumba to release Luka Milanzi who slotted past the advancing goalie into the back of the net.
The hosts protested the goal, claiming that Sulumba was offside but the officiating personnel stood firm to award the goal to the Nomads.
Shortly after, Sulumba’s selfishness denied Ibrahim Sadick from scoring against his former side as the former opted to shoot instead of passing the ball to his teammate.
Thotho and Mwale were causing havoc but Nomads goal custodian was very good as he made some stunning saves to frustrate the home team and after 45 minutes of play, it was the visitors in the lead. Come second half, Epac’s Thotho was substituted after taking a knock.
The hosts continued to dominate over the visitors but lacked finishing composure in front of goal.
The Nomads created fewer chances than expected as their midfield failed to withstand the heat exerted by the hosts. Jabulani Linje had his own moment when he released a 30 metre drive only to be denied by the goalkeeper.
But Epac’s Mwale almost found the leveler when his shot missed the goal mouth with an inch to the disbelief of the home fans.
The home team continued to attack from all cylinders in search of the equaliser but Peter Nselema, Ted Sumani and Bongani Kaipa in defence for the Nomads stood firm to deny them from finding the back of the net.
However, just when Wanderers thought the game was over Epac stunned the visitors in the 90th minute.
Msowoya’s trigger was well saved by Munthali but landed safely in the path of Mwale who made no mistake but to slot past the shot stopper into the bottom corner, 1-1.
The hosts almost scored the winner in the third minute of injury time but Nselema made a fantastic clearance to put his side into the game and after 90 minutes of play, the teams shared points. Speaking to the media, Nomads team manager Steve Madeira was very disappointed.
“Honestly, I don’t know what to say anymore. We thought the job was done but we ended up conceding the late goal, I am short of words,” said Madeira.
Epac coach Makawa had no kind words for the men in black.
“The victory was ours today but thanks to the referee and his assistant for awarding that offside goal to the Nomads,” he said. On his team’s survival chances, he said: “God will answer our prayers, we have 23 points and we will keep on fighting till the last drop of our blood. Trust me we will survive again this season.”
The Nomads have now managed to collect 3 points from a possible 15 in their last five games and despite their poor form, they have moved from seventh position to sixth with 33 points from 24 games.
As for Epac, they are 14th from 24 games, 3 points adrift of safety and if they are to survive, winning their remaining games will be a must.