Savenda Chitipa United coach Alex Ngwira has hailed his side’s tactical discipline and spirit shown in overcoming stubborn Mzuni FC 1-0 in a TNM Super League encounter played at the Karonga Stadium on Saturday.
The Lions of Chitipa who were on a four game unbeaten run in the league earned their victory in the 88th minute courtesy of a Shelton Banda strike after reacting quickly to a loose ball in the Mzuni’s penalty area.
The defeat for the Green Intellectuals ended their mini revival which had seen the financially crippled club win two out of their last 3 matches.
Despite a low turnout at the stadium, the home side showed no nerves on the big stage as they battled hard in breaking down a well-oiled and in form Mzuni outfit where clear goal scoring chances were hard to come by till Shelton Banda settled the contest in the 88th minute when he tapped in from a rebound.
The win means the Lions of Chitipa can claim to be the undisputed giants of the North after defeating all of their three northern region based Super League rivals namely Karonga United (1-0), Moyale Barracks (2-1) and Mzuni (1-0).
Speaking in a post-match interview, Chitipa United coach Ngwira expressed delight in his side’s fighting spirit in going for the three points despite having missed a penalty earlier in the second half through Khumbo Ng’ambi.
“Our objective before the match was to end the first round in the league with a win and we have achieved that and we deserved it with our attitude and fighting spirit that we showed in going all out for the victory late into the match,” he said.
He added that the victory has given them more confidence heading into the second round considering that clubs below them have picked up form and are breathing on their neck.
“But to see my players doing this and coping under pressure and have the humility to fight for every ball and go for the late win when others would have settled for a share of the spoils was the most pleasing thing as a coach,” Ngwira marbled.
However, Mzuni coach Gilbert Chilwa, lamented his side’s poor finishing for costing them the points.
“We had the better chances and if we took one of them the game would have ended differently but this is football if you don’t take your opportunities you will be punished and we were,” said a frustrated Chilwa.
With the win, Savenda Chitipa United have climbed a place up on the log table to 12th with 15 points from 15 matches while Mzuni stay in 10th with also 15 points to their name but having played 14 games.