…Wanderers still unbeaten at Bingu National Stadium…
The crowd was not decent, the football was eye catching and there needed to be a hero to separate the two teams.
Be Forward Wanderers FC produced a stunning second half performance to come from behind to beat Moyale Barracks 3-1 in the semifinals of the inaugural Airtel Top 8 Cup played at Bingu National Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Khumbo Ng’ambi was a hero on the day as he scored twice, with the other goal coming from Francis Mulimbika to send the Nomads into the final.
It was the visitors who took a 2-nil lead in the opening 40 minutes of the match through Boy Boy Chima and Dan Katunga but on the stroke of half time, Ng’ambi pulled one back to keep the hosts into the contest.
Chima scored a stunning volley on 27th minute after being set through by pacey winger Brown Maganga, 1-0.
10 minutes later, one became two to stun all the vocal Nomads supporters.
An attempted back-pass from Lucky Malata caught his own goalkeeper Richard Chipuwa napping in the line of duty to allow Dan Katunga to make a simple finish into an empty net, 2-0.
But just when the Soldiers thought the cat was already in the bag and ready for slaughter, Nomads pulled one back on the stroke of half time through Ng’ambi who connected well from a Yamikani Chester low cross drive into the penalty box to beat Simeon Harawa in goals for the visitors,1-2.
In the second half, Wanderers started on a very high note as compared to their opponents.
It took only 3 minutes for the Blantyre based giants to put the match on level through unlikely goal scorer Francis Mulimbika whose long range drive was just too much for Harawa, 2-2.
The pressure was mounting too much on Charles Kamanga’s boys as Nomads were attacking from all cylinders in search for the much needed winning goal.
Victor Gondwe and Zondiwe Munthali were all introduced for Moyale Barracks to try to tame Nomads’ pace in midfield where Joseph Kamwendo, Chester and Felix Zulu made things too difficult for Black Alison, Livermore Jere, Sandres Munthali and Timothy Nyirenda in defence for the visiting Soldiers.
Khuda Muyaba almost restored Moyale’s lead when he rounded off Chipuwa only to fire wide when Munthali was in a good position to put the ball into an empty net.
That selfish decision by Muyaba was too costly as Nomads took the lead for the first time in the match.
Moyale defenders thought Ng’ambi was offside when he was played through by Kamwendo only to see the second assistant referee’ flag down, allowing the youngster to double his tally by slotting past Harawa, 3-2.
The Soldiers tried their level best to come back into the game but Nomads defence stood firm and after 90 minutes of entertaining football, 3-2 it ended.
The Nomads will meet the winner between Kamuzu Barracks and Silver Strikers.
The prestigious cup is being sponsored by Airtel Malawi Limited to the tune of K66 million for three years.
The winner will walk home with a bumper K15 million prize.