Khuda Muyaba scored from the spot to inspire Silver Strikers to a 1-nil victory over relegation threatened Ntopwa FC in a TNM Super League match played at Kamuzu Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Coming straight from the disappointing 3-1 defeat to Nyasa Big Bullets on Saturday, head coach Young Chimodzi made five changes, bringing on board Charles Thom, Yunus Sherrif, Sherrif Shamama, Kondwani Mwaila and Hygiene Mwendepeka for Brighton Munthali, Hadji Wali, Herbert Wayekha, Thuso Paipi and Victor Limbani.
The match, played an in almost an empty stadium, was dull as both teams failed to play entertaining football.
First to create a goal scoring opportunity was Friday Osagie who blasted his shot over the cross bar.
At the other end, it was Silver’s turn to try to break the deadlock but Duncan Nyoni’s low drive cross was missed by Micheal Tete.
It was a game where chances were few, as football was mostly played in the middle of the park.
The Central Bankers almost opened the scoring when brilliant Nyoni’s cross met Shamama who released a thunderous strike which hit the woodwork.
The hosts were living dangerously as Tete missed another opportunity from yet again Nyoni cross.
The hosts made some brilliant runs through Josiah Duwa, Rafick Mussa and Mphatso Magaleta and this almost paid off when Ishmael Chikwata saw his drive well saved by Thom.
Ntopwa FC made a quick change, introducing Hendrix Misinde for Levison Chabwera, who wasn’t impressive in the opening 30 minutes of the match while Paipi replaced Shamama.
With seconds to go before the recess, the visitors were awarded a penalty when defender Grem Lemera brought down Muyaba, leaving referee Ishmael Chizinga with no choice but to point on the spot, from which the victim rose to slot past Richard Chimbamba in goals for the hosts.
In the second half, the match lacked firepower as nobody was willing to open up.
Both teams made changes with Levison Makoko and Arthur Moffat all coming in for Ntopwa FC for Duwa and Chikwata while Limbani and Mark Fodya replaced Young Chimodzi Jnr and Paipi, who, despite coming in as a substitute, failed to make any impact.
Moffat was lethal and quick on the ball no wonder his brilliant exchange of passes with Misinde forced Thom into action when he produced a fantastic save to deny the home side from getting an equalizer.
Moments later, Moffat was at it again, knocking on Silver’s door but he was let down by Osagie whose decision making proved too costly on the day.
The Bankers were under pressure from Makoko, Moffat and Magaleta but the rookies lacked the finishing composure to put the ball into the back of the net.
The visitors’ relief came midway through the half when Nyoni forced himself into the penalty box to find unmarked Muyaba who wasted the glorious opportunity to drive his effort miles away from Chimbamba’s goal area and that was all for the day as Chizinga blew his whistle to mark the end of the match.
The win takes the Area 47 side into 5th position with 25 points from 14 games while the rookies are still stuck in the drop zone with 10 points from 13 games.
At Dedza Stadium, Masters Security and Blue Eagles played out a 2-all draw in a four goal thriller.
Amadu Makawa and John Chalamanda gave the hosts a half time lead before Gilbert Chirwa and Henry Misinjo’ goals to share one point apiece.
The result sees Eagles dropping into 6th position with 24 points from 14 games while Masters Security are on 12th position with 12 points from 13 games.