…Karonga bag first Superleague win
Hygiene Mwendepeka scored in the late stages of the match to inspire Karonga United to a well deserved 1-0 victory over depleted Nyasa Big Bullets in a Super League match played at Mzuzu Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
The teenager looped his attempt over the reach of outstanding Ernest Kakhobwe, which the visitors were unable to respond to across the remaining 10 minutes.
Coming straight from their 4-nil victory over Kabwafu FC in the Presidential Cup on Saturday, things got worse for Bullets when right-back Pilirani Zonda was given his matching orders for spitting fire at the referee.
The hosts were on fire as they pressurized Bullets who were lucky to have Kakhobwe between the two sticks as he made back-back stunning saves to keep the visitors into the game.
Bullets’s Chiukepo Msowoya and Muhamad Sulumba were having a bad game as they squandered numerous chances created within the half.
With few minutes to play on the clock, Kakhobwe made another stunning save, this time around denying Mwendepeka a chance to give his side a lead when Bullets defence was torn apart like toilet papers.
Come second half, Bullets dominated from that point on, but playing with ten-men on the field proved too costly as they failed to penetrate in the final third of the match.
Msowoya had the best chance to give his side a lead but he was left waiting for his 6th goal this season as Chimwemwe Kasambara in goals for the hosts produced a fine save to frustrate the former Escom United and Orlando Pirates forward.
The turning point of the match was when Bullets mentor Franco Ndawa introduced three defenders for Mike Mkwate, Kondwani Kumwenda and Dalitso Sailesi.
This change gave Karonga United an edge in the midfield as Bullets opted to sit back and defend, with the visitors now coming wave after wave.
The hosts upped their game and began to take control of the game by creating plenty of chances but Kakhobwe was very instrumental for Bullets as he made series of stunning saves.
Msowoya was the weakest link in Bullets’s front line as he missed another chance from a set piece. With less than 12 minutes to go, Bullets were stunned.
An excellent delivery from the right was met by Mwendepeka with a superb looping finish that left Kakhobwe with no chance.
Few minutes after conceding, Sulumba curled wide from Yamikani Fodya’s cross as Bullets labored to break down a stubborn Karonga United defence and their frustration will only have grown after Kasambara produced more heroics to stop Msowoya from prodding in a leveler following good work from his fellow striker.
Three minutes on the clock, Bullets threw every weapon to try to snatch something from the match but Karonga United stood firm to condemn Bullets to their first defeat this season.
The result sees Karonga United moving up to 14th on the log with 6 points from 9 games while Bullets are stuck on 10th position with 12 points from 7 games.
At Civo Stadium, Moyale Barracks produced a stunning performance to claim a 5-3 victory over stubborn Epac FC to move up to 3rd in the standings with 21 points from 13 games.
The match saw Anthony Banda and Gasten Simkonda scoring three goals each for their sides.
It was a historic week for the top flight as it has produced three hatricks in two games, with Peter Wadabwa scoring a hatrick on Saturday which inspired Mighty Wanderers to a 3-1 victory over Red Lions at Kamuzu Stadium.