…as Civil edge out Mighty Tigers…
Be Forward Wanderers have moved seven points clear at the top of the TNM Super League with a controversial 1-0 victory over Ntopwa FC as one of their major rivals are on bay.
It is increasingly looking like Wanderers’ title to lose as their handsome lead might be maintained if closest rivals Nyasa Big Bullets stumble at Karonga next week with two crucial games.
Felix Zulu scored the only goal of the game in the second half. He slotted the ball into the back of the net from an Isaac Kaliyati’s freekick which came off the woodwork with the visitors protesting that he was offside.
Ntopwa FC had their chances as they forced Nenani Juwaya into making some crucial saves.
The visitors’ goalkeeper Richard Chimbamba produced one of the best saves when he tipped over Kaliyati’s close range shot for a corner.
The Nomads were struggling as the visitors displayed beautiful football through Glem Lemera, Rafick Mussa and Richard Rabson but putting the ball into the back of the net proved too difficult as Lucky Malata and Peter Cholopi stood firm at the back for the Nomads.
As the match was progressing, Malata rose to the occasion when his bullet header hit the upright from a well taken corner by Kaliyati.
Despite this, Wanderers were not at their level best as they kept losing possession to the rookies.
Sensing danger, Oscar Kaunda’s led technical panel made a double first half substitution, bringing on board Misheck Botomani and Francis Mkonda for Zicco Mkanda and Rafick Namwera.
In the second half, it was the same old story, losing possession and creating fewer chances.
Rabson and Hendrix Misinde paved the way for Raquib Milanzi and Josaya Duwa as Ntopwa tried to find the much needed goal but Wanderers gave them no room.
As the hosts’ fans were panicking, the deadlock was broken in a controversial way.
A free kick from Kaliyati hit the woodwork from which Zulu scored from the rebound, raising questions as to whether the scorer was offside or not.
However, despite minutes of protests from Ntopwa players, the final decision was made as the play was resumed.
The rookies should have equalized moments later but Juwaya was very alert as he produced a save to deny Osagie from scoring.
The visitors were pressing harder and Osagie almost punished the Nomads when his long range drive missed the upright with an inch.
The visitors tried their level best to find the equalizer but the log leaders stood firm to collect maximum points and open up a seven point lead over Bullets who are not in action this weekend.
As for Ntopwa FC, the result sees them maintaining their 13th position on the log table with 17 points from 19 games but that will change if Dwangwa United records victory over Silver Strikers at their backyard on Sunday afternoon.
At Civo Stadium, Muhammad Sulumba scored the only goal of the match to inspire Civil Sporting Club to a hard-fought victory over Mighty Tigers and move into 6th position.
It was a game of two halves, as Civil dominated the first half, with the other half going to Tigers who missed some clear cut chances in the defeat.
The servants have now collected 28 points from 19 games while Tigers are 10th with 20 points.