A first half strike from Harvey Nkacha inspired Kamuzu Barracks to a hard fought 1-nil victory over Civil Sporting Club in a TNM Super League match played at Civo Stadium on Saturday afternoon to keep their hopes of finishing in the top eight alive.
Having started poorly in the ongoing campaign, the Soldiers have re-gained their top form, winning three games in a row but they are very unlikely to retain their championship as they are 20 points behind the current league leaders Be Forward Wanderers.
Just minutes into the match, Nkacha got on the score sheet with a fantastic goal following a brilliant exchange of passes between Dave Banda and Kelvin Hanganda.
The hosts almost responded moments after conceding when Joseph Kachule released Righteous Banda only to see the winger blasting his effort over the cross bar when Lemani Nthala was already out of his line.
It was a 50-50 affair, with Banda and Nkacha controlling the midfield for the visitors while Kachule, Banda and Fletcher Bandawe were doing the job for the Civil Servants but to find the equalizer proved too difficult for Franco Ndawa’s men.
Come second half, the visitors were more of defensive as they opted to protect their slender lead and in the process, inviting pressure from the home side who were in search for the much needed goal.
Nthala produced a stunning save to deny Bandawe from scoring when Banda found him unmarked in the penalty box.
The hosts were coming wave after wave through Banda, Kachule and Bandawe but the Super League defending champions stood firm at the back to collect three valuable points over a difficult Civil side.
The win takes their tally to 31 points from 22 games while Civil have dropped back to 5th position with 34 points from the same number of games.
At Kalulu Stadium, Stuart Mbunge and Mphatso Philimon were on target to help Blue Eagles move up to 4th in the standings with 35 points from 22 games.
The result ends Eagles’ winless run which resulted in the suspension of head coach Audrey Makunyula last week.
As for Tigers, the defeat leaves them on position 9 with 28 points from 23 games.
The action continues on Sunday in all the four regions of the country.
Nyasa Big Bullets will play host to Blue Eagles at Chilomoni Stadium while Be Forward Wanderers will be visitors to Moyale Barracks at Mzuzu Stadium. At Balaka Stadium, relegation threatened Red Lions will welcome second placed Silver Strikers while Masters Security will host Dwangwa United at Dedza Stadium, with MAFCO FC entertaining Mzuni FC at Chitowe Stadium.