Karonga United scored twice in each half to romp past Ntopwa FC 4-1 in a controversial TNM Super League match played on Sunday afternoon at the Karonga Stadium.
The match which was played in front of a partisan home crowd saw the away side come into the game full of confidence after outclassing Savender Chitipa United 3-1 the previous day whilst the hosts were also coming into the match in buoyant mood following their semifinal qualification into the Airtel Top Eight. Ntopwa
After a lively start, Karonga should have taken the lead but Misheki Selemani ballooned over a chance and Anthony Mfune also fired over.
Karonga opened their account in the 25th minute when Aziz Mwakifuna coolly converted from the penalty spot after a foul on Khumbo Msowoya.
Ten minutes later, controversy erupted following another awarding of a penalty to the hosts by the referee Runwell Sibale after a push on the impressive Misheki Selimani.
However, Ntopwa incensed with the decision strongly protested the awarding of the spot-kick and refused to play on the match and walked off the pitch to the fans’ fury who voiced out their frustrations with verbal insults to Ntopwa players and the coaching staff.
After a 10 minute delay, the match officials persuaded the away side to carry on with the game and Mwakifuna was finally allowed to double the hosts’ lead from the spot which he duly did despite Richard Chimbamba getting a hand to the effort.
In the second half, Karonga sat back allowing the visitors who were playing under protest to dominate the ball and the midfield battle as a result they put pressure on the home side’s defence but Ntopwa lacked composure in front of goal to punish a slack Karonga.
Needing to get back a foothold to the game, the ingwinas introduced Bernard Msiska from the bench for Antony Mfune and it was this change that brought the hosts attacking rhythm.
Moments later after coming on, Msiska tapped in the 3rd after Khumbo Msowoya rounded Chimbamba and unselfishly squared across to the substitute for an easy finish.
With 12 minutes remaining on the clock, the Blantyre based side reduced their arrears as Lusekero Malema deflected the ball into his own net past a hapless Lloyd Munthali after a goal mouth scramble.
However, 5 minutes later Karonga United scored their 4th with Gule Mwaluswa getting on the score sheet after a flowing team move.
In a post-match interview, Karonga United coach Dan Zinkambani hailed his side’s ruthlessness to see off a stubborn Mtopwa.
“I am pleased that our hard work is paying off, we have been struggling to finish teams off hence I’m delighted with the win,” he said.
Ntopwa technical director Isaac Jomo Osman bemoaned the officiating saying it contributed towards their defeat.
“The referee had a shocker with those 2 penalties awarded to Karonga and because of this my boys were demoralized and their mind was not in the game,” said an angry Osman.