Silver Strikers-who have been leading the TNM Super League log for long are slowly losing the title following their narrow 1-0 defeat to Savenda Chitipa United at Karonga Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Emmanuel Muyira scored the lone goal of the match through the penalty spot to hand the central bankers a loss at a critical time as league contenders are eager for maximum points to maximize their chances of winning the title.
The Bankers are still second on the standings with five points behind league leaders, Nyasa Big Bullets, who thumped Civo Service United 2-1 in Lilongwe to take their tally to 45 points with nine matches remaining to wrap up their assignments.
Silver Strikers will have to beat Karonga United tomorrow if they want to reduce the gap to two points so as to exert pressure on the Blantyre based side.
Speaking with the Press, deputy Head Coach for bankers, Macdonald Mtetemera, blamed the officiating personnel for the loss.
“It wasn’t a penalty, the incident occurred outside from the 18 yard-box but the referee decided to award our friends with the penalty, even if we complain now nothing will happen and we have to focus on tomorrow’s match,” he said.
Chitipa United head coach Christopher Nyambose in a separate interview said it was a difficult match but he was quick to praise his boys for the win.
“Our friends are fighting for the champions and we are running from being relegated so it was tough game, coordination between the players and technical panel is what has helped for us to beat them,” said Nyambose.
Elsewhere, lower division is beckoning Ntopwa as they lost 2-0 to Mafco at Chitowe Stadium in Nkhotakota.
Goals from Victor Mpinganjira and Zikani Sichinga were enough to hand the home team with three points to move up to seventh on the log with 29 points.
The Blantyre based outfit needed maximum points to increase their chances of survival as they sit first at the bottom of the table with 15 points from 21 matches.
Caren Chiula’s men are scheduled to face Blue Eagles at Nankhaka tomorrow and they need to collect three points for the betterment of themselves as relegation battle continues in the top flight.
In an interview after the match, Ntopwa’s coach said the soldiers’ tactics in the second half compromised their whole game plan.
“We’ve played very well in the first half, but look in the second half our friends were playing long balls which was difficult for us to cope up with.
“My boys failed to be patient at the ball and we’ve lost the match, tomorrow is another day we’ll see,” she said.
On his part, Temwa Msuku of Mafco said it was a difficult match considering how Ntopwa played and he has since given credit to his boys who ensured that they should be victors.
“We have won the match, we capitalized on chances that we got, our friends played very well they got some chances which could have given them goals, only luck wasn’t on their side,” he said.