Blantyre United’s search for their first win of the second round of the Tnm Super League hit a snag on Sunday following a barren draw against Azam Tigers.
The match was played at Chilomoni Stadium in Blantyre in front of a sizeable crowd, which was not let down with the standard of play.
The first 45 minutes saw a balanced affair with both teams only able to create half chances.
But the second half produced some decent openings on both ends with no side clinical enough to take advantage.
Sixteen minutes into the second half, Chasimbiwe Kanyika received a nice cross from Innocent Msowoya but his weak header was easily dealt with by United goalkeeper Christopher Mikuwa.
Moments later United would have broken the deadlock but midfielder Jide Mbandambanda blasted his effort over the bar from the edge of the 18 yard box.
Mphembedzu as United are fondly known were at it again a minute later but instead of setting up enterprising forward Tony Mbulu, left winger Yusuf Lwanda selfishly went for goal himself. Tigers number one William Thole comfortably saved Lwanda’s baby shot.
With the clock ticking away, Tigers were nearly gifted a goal by United keeper Mikuwa who smashed his clearance into the back of striker Luka Chima before eventually handling the ball outside his area, as he tried to clear the danger.
However, Bonda Mpinganjira failed to punish him from the resulting free kick.
United then had a legitimate penalty call when the ball deflected off Tigers defender Nixon Mwase’s hand in the box but Mangochi based referee Gift Chicco instead awarded a corner kick.
Substitute Josophat Kwalira could have stolen the show for Tigers late on but his header hit the woodwork with Mikuwa already beaten.
In his post match interview with Malawi24, United coach MacDonald Mtetemera described it as a point gained rather than 2 dropped.
“We are coming from 3 back to back defeats, so a draw is a step forward, we thank God for that. I have seen lots of improvement from boys in today’s match, which gives me the confidence that we are going to survive the chop,” said Mtetemera.
Tigers technical director Robin Alufandika commended United for giving them a good game and wished them well in their survival fight.
“It was a tough game, United gave us a good game and if they continue playing like this, they could stay up in the league,” said Alufandika.
Tigers maintain 7th position on the table with 26 points from 19 games while United remain second from bottom with 12 points from 19 fixtures.
United face Nyasa Big Bullets next weekend as Tigers will be hosting Mzuni fc.