Joseph Kamwendo’s second half strike from the spot inspired Be Forward Wanderers to a hard fought 1-0 victory over Kamuzu Barracks in the second leg of Airtel Top 8 Cup quarterfinals played at Balaka Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
The Nomads have won the tie 2-0 on aggregate and are through to the semifinals.
It was not an impressive performance from the home side who would have found themselves 1-0 down in the first half had it been that Manase Chiyesa’s goal was not ruled out for offside by the assistant referee.
The visitors, knowing that they were trailing 1-0, started the match on a very high note with Dave Banda, Manase Chiyesa and Sammy Chiponda all pressing hard in search for the opening goal.
The Nomads were below par and their wingers were completely out of the game no wonder they failed to test Lemani Nthala in goals in the opening minutes of the match.
The Soldiers created their first clear chance of the game when Chiyesa put Mude Geoffrey in on goal in the 17th minute, but the striker couldn’t get the better of goalkeeper Richard Chipuwa.
With less than 15 minutes to play, the team in yellow were denied an opening goal when Chiyesa made a cool finish from close range but was adjudged offside.
However, despite KB’s dominance, the Nomads stood firm in defence to maintain their first leg slender lead.
In the second half, it was the same old story, with Wanderers playing too deep in their own half while the Soldiers were now playing under pressure as they opted for long high balls in order to force the home team into opening up at the back.
Nomads striking force of Zicco Nkanda and Khumbo Ng’ambi was nowhere to be seen as KB closed Isaac Kaliyati and Kamwendo, making it very difficult for the strikers to receive balls from the wings.
The Soldiers created a couple of chances for Chiyesa, both of which forced Chipuwa into relatively straightforward saves but gave the hosts notice that their opponents still posed a notable attacking threat.
The visitors went on to create an array of further promising attacking situations which they failed to capitalize on.
KB’s failure to convert some of the fewest chances they created saw them paying the price as Kamwendo scores from the spot following a handball by the Soldiers’ defender to put the match beyond their reach.
The result sees Wanderers joining rivals Nyasa Big Bullets in the semifinals, which will be completed by the winners of the matches between MAFCO FC and Blue Eagles FC, as well as Silver Strikers and Civil Sporting Club.