Such is the intensity of the TNM Super League title race among log leaders Nyasa Big Bullets, Silver Strikers and Be Forward Wanderers that no stone is being left unturned by the three delicately balanced contenders to maximise their challenge.
The order of results on Saturday afternoon has kept the destiny of the title in suspense and has given more energy to Silver Strikers and Wanderers’ attempt to disturb leaders Bullets and potentially cause an upset in this 2018 title race.
The 2017 champions registered an emphatic 3-nil victory over Blue Eagles to reduce Bullets’ lead at the top to just four points while the Central Bankers were 2-nil winners over Red Lions to be three points adrift of the league leaders who have a game against Kamuzu Barracks on Sunday at Kamuzu Stadium.
First half strikes from Isaac Kaliyati and Esau Kanyenda followed by Francisco Madinga’s fantastic goal in the second half were enough to hand Wanderers all the needed three points to keep their hopes of defending the title alive.
The hosts were well composed especially in the first half as they took a lead just after 20 minutes when Joseph Kamwendo’s million dollar cross found Kaliyati unmarked in the box to head past John Soko in goals for the visitors, 1-0.
Eagles were relentless in midfield as they kept on losing possession and had a goal scoring chance well saved by Nenani Juwaya who is currently enjoying a rich form for the defending champions.
Maxwell Salambula and Dennis Nandolo’s partnership wasn’t effective as the duo did very little to trouble a well-organized Nomads defence.
With less than 5 minutes to play before the interval, Wanderers doubled their tally in a brilliant fashion.
A cross from Kaliyati was controlled by Precious Sambani who wasted no time by sending the ball into the box from which Kanyenda connected to slot past helpless Soko, 2-0.
In the second half, Eagles was the better side, making some brilliant moves but their finishing wasn’t equal to the task as they kept on misfiring to disappoint Deklerk Msakakuona’ led technical panel.
Eagles came close to scoring when Gregory Nachipo sent a long ball into Wanderers’ box, allowing Stuart Mbunge to fire straight at Juwaya.
Moments later, Salambula was very unlucky when his strike inside Wanderers’ area came off the post before the second attempt which was cleared by Peter Cholopi.
Yamikani Chester had to be brought out for Misheck Botomani while Pachalo Kumilonde and Chisomo Chilasa all came in for Nandolo and Brian Msumatiza.
The hosts opted to sit back in defence becoming vulnerable as the visitors kept on launching counter attacks but their finishing composure was disastrous.
Wanderers made a double substitution, introducing Rafick Namwera and Madinga for Kanyenda and Kaliyati.
It was after these substitutions that Wanderers sealed the win with a fantastic strike from Madinga who curved his effort over Soko into the top corner to send the whole stadium into a frenzy.
Kamwendo was named man of the match.
The win sees Wanderers maintaining their third position with 42 points from 21 games while Eagles have dropped further into fifth position with 29 points from 21 games.
At Silver Stadium, a goal in each half from Zikani Kasambara and Thuso Paipi inspired the Central Bankers to a comfortable 2-nil victory over Red Lions to cement their second position.
The victory sees the Area 47 giants reducing Bullets’ lead at the top to just three points although they have played a game more than the league leaders.