A goal from substitute Brian Phiri handed Ekwendeni Hammers a 1-0 win over rivals Mzuzu Warriors on Sunday at Mzuzu stadium.
The city rivals faced off in the opening game of the TNM Super League second.
Ekwendeni Hammers nearly took a lead in the 18th minute when Chawanangwa Gumbo met Eneya Banda’s with a glancing header only for Pilirani Mapila in Warriors’ goal to make a save.
The Hammers were the better side as they forced Pilirani Mapila in Warriors’ goal into a number of saves from long range. Warriors also had their moments, but clear-cut chances were hard to come by.
In the second half, Hammers missed some golden opportunities. Substitute Omega Mhone got into a one-on-one with Pilirani Mapila but the goalie came to the Warriors’ rescue again with a fine save.
It was Brian Phiri who came in as a substitute to separate boys from men. Phiri took a direct free kick near Warriors left flag and Pilirani Mapila who had been outstanding for Warriors was finally beaten in the 87th minute of the game.
In a post-match interview, Hammers coach Etson Kadenge was happy with the win but said they didn’t play their usual game.
“We didn’t play the way we wanted but all in all we managed to collect three points. Warriors is another good side but we fight for points, next assignment will be against Bullets and Ntopwa but let us assess this game first,” said Kadenge.
Reacting to the game, Warriors coach Gilbert Chirwa said they will fight to run away from relegation.
“There is still long way to go, we will keep on fighting to run away from the relegation zone,” he said.
Hammers have moved up to third position with 26 points while Warriors are still stuck at the bottom of the table with 14 points.