Reigning Tnm Super League champions Be Forward Wanderers have kept alive their slim chances of retaining the title following their slim 1-0 victory over Karonga United in a Super League match played on Saturday.
The match which was played at the soccer cathedral Karonga Stadium in front of a large crowd, began on a cagey note as both sides struggled to impose their game on each other.
However, the crocodiles of Karonga looked more threatening in the final third with Shalith Chamama having the first sight at goal in the 6th minute but his strike from outside the box went narrowly wide.
In the 20th minute, the home side went close again through Lawrence Mhonjo but his weak effort failed to test Nomads goalkeeper Nenani Juway0.
The Blantyre giants grew more into the match as the half progressed with the impressive Yamikani Chester orchestrating Wanderers attacks.
Ziko Nkanda was denied twice in quick succession by Karonga goal custodian Lloyd Munthali from two set piece routines in the 35th and 38th minutes respectively.
Chester also went close before half time but his header went wide.
In the second half, the away side began where they had left off, dominating the ball and pinning Karonga in their own half.
The pressure finally yielded fruits in the 53rd minute when Nkanda calmly finished past Munthali after a right wing cross.
Isaac Kaliati should have doubled Nomads’ lead 2 minutes later but failed to connect to Yamikani Chester’s right wing cross.
Despite Karonga United being on the back foot for most of the 2nd half, Shariff Shamama and Khumbo Msowoya had chances to equalize but were wasteful in front of goal.
In the last 10 minutes, the crocodiles laid siege at Wanderers’ goal with attack after attack but the away side’s well organised defence led by the excellent Bongani Kaipa and Peter Cholopi smothered any Karonga United crosses in their box.
In a post-match interview, Karonga United acting coach Wilberforce Lungwe bemoaned his side’s wastefulness in front of goal.
“We played well today but our finishing let us down and we must improve on that in our 2 remaining games,” he said.
On his part, Be Forward Wanderers coach Bob Mpinganjira was relieved to escape Karonga with all the 3 points despite not being at their best.
“We didn’t play as well as we can play but at this stage of the season all that matters is collecting the maximum points and I’m happy we did that,” he said.
Wanderers’ victory has lifted them up to 49 points from 24 matches, 10 points behind runaway leaders Nyasa Big Bullets while Karonga United remain in 11th place with 31 points from 28 matches.