Karonga United produced a masterclass to stun reigning league champions Nyasa Big Bullets 1-0 in a TNM Super League match played on Saturday.
Clement Nyondo who earlier missed a penalty was the hosts’ hero as his first half deflected effort was enough to down a muted Bullets side who are yet to find the back of the net in their opening two league fixtures.
The encounter which was played at the Karonga Stadium in front of a mammoth crowd saw Karonga begin the game strongly by dominating the ball and pinning the visitors in their own half.
The hosts should have been rewarded for their bright start to the game but the impressive Clement Nyondo blazed wide his spot-kick after he was fouled by Precious Sambani.
However, Nyondo made up for his miss in the 29th minute by deservedly putting the hosts into a 1-0 lead after deflecting his effort into the net following a neat exchange of passing that led to Shaliff Chamama’s cross into the visitors’ box.
Despite going a goal behind, the away side’s spirits were still not awoke as they continued to struggle to muster any meaningful opportunities on Yona Milanzi’s goal.
In the second half, the two sides began sluggishly as they failed to keep the ball and mount any serious attacks at each other’s goal’s.
The introduction of Peter Banda and Ben Manyozo brought life into the visitor’s attack as they pinned the hosts in their own half.
The lively Banda brought the best out of the Karonga keeper Milanzi who produced a great save to foil Banda and preserve the hosts tight lead.
Despite the reigning champions growing more into the game as the second half went on, Karonga looked more likely to grab a second from the counter attack.
Chamama and substitute Khumbo Msowoya all had chances to seal a comfortable win but wasted opportunities late on as the hosts hanged on to a deserve victory against an abject and under-par Blantyre based giant.
Speaking in a post-match interview, Karonga United coach Dan Dzinkambani expressed delight in his sides display and tactical discipline in the win.
“I thought we were really good today against a tough team in Big Bullets, we really neutralised them and their threats hence deserved the three vital points,” he said.
However, Nyasa Big Bullets coach Callisto Pasuwa admitted his side were below-par and deserved to be beaten.
“We were not good enough today in all areas a defeat was deserved but we will improve and we will get back to our best as the season is still young,” he said.