They dominated play. They created several goal scoring opportunities, but at the final whistle it was the same old story as Premier Bet Wizards succumbed to their sixth consecutive league defeat, going down 0-1 to Mafco on Sunday.
Emmanuel Chipeta intelligently headed home the lone goal at the stroke of half time, and it was to be the moment that would separate the two sides on a cloudy afternoon at Chilomoni Stadium in Blantyre.
The defeat leaves Wizards still searching for their first league victory since 15 July when they overcame Dwangwa United at Chitowe stadium.
They have now gone 10 matches without a win, losing 9 and drawing one.
That draw came against Masters Security fc on August 5. But since then it’s been one defeat on top of another.
Sunday’s encounter did not provide many talking points in the first half as both sides seemed to equal strength.
But just as the small crowd that witnessed the match thought they had seen enough in the first half, Mafco had other ideas.
Yohane Malunga sent a cross from the left which caught the Wizards defence off guard.
Chipeta sneaked through from Sydney Chabulika’s blind side to head the ball into the far corner beating helpless goalkeeper Francis Mkanda.
The second half was a lively show with Mafco largely on the back foot as Wizards, marshalled by their captain and Flames defender Dennis Chembezi, kept asking the questions.
Patrick Phiri curled his effort over the bar on 50 minutes before Misheck Bottoman’s stinging shot was parried away by Mafco keeper Jailosi Kapalamula.
Kapalamula who was superb in between the sticks then denied substitute Frank Mlimanjira and Phiri in quick succession.
Callisto Kalinda should have doubled Mafco’s lead on the 79th minute when he broke free against the run of play. But his shot was saved by Mkanda on a one on one situation.
Pintsized Phiri had the last chance to level matters for Wizards but again Kapalamula stood firm in goals with just him to beat.
Wizards made all the three changes on the day, withdrawing Blessings Joseph, Ian Chinyama and Chifuniro Gombwa for Mlimanjira, Kondwani Majoni and Yamikani Osman while Mafco threw on Saidi Mtekama for Bernard Harawa as Jimmy Mzunga replaced Hassan Chapola.
They also had captain Gift Soko make way for Joseph Donsa late on.
After the match, Wizards technical director Peter Mponda refused to blame his boys despite the loss.
“Today’s performance was encouraging save for the one mistake we made in letting in the goal. But I can’t blame my boys, they played some good football, created chances which they could not take due to pressure.
“But we will try to take the pressure off their shoulders and with today’s display am sure victory is around the corner”.
Mafco coach Temwa Msuku admitted Wizards gave them a tough run and praised his opponents as a good side.
“We laboured for the 3 points today because we faced a team that is good on the ball.”
He then lamented Saturday’s loss to Be Forward Wanderers saying the true winner in that match was the referee.
Sunday’s win moves Mafco from 8th to 7th place with 28 points from 19 games, while Wizards are stuck on position 13 with 19 points from 20 outings.
Wizards would have dropped into the relegation zone had Dwangwa United beaten Silver strikers at Chitowe on the same day.
The Nkhotakota based side led the bankers for the better part of the match but conceded a second half goal to share the spoils with the second placed team.
Dwangwa and Wizards have equal points but the lakeshore side has an inferior goal difference.