Despite playing with 10 men in the second half after Lucky Malata was shown a red card, Mighty Wanderers managed to hold Mafco to a goalless draw at Civo Stadium in Lilongwe.
Both teams featured strong teams and created chances, but it was a disappointing result as they shared the spoils. It was Mafco who settled first and took the game to the visitors.
Mafco’s first chance fell to Zikani Sichinga just after 16 minutes, but Yunus Sheriff saved the situation.
A minute later, goalkeeper Richard Chipuwa saved Morris Chiumia’s hard shot.
It was a physical first half and Wanderers were relieved to go for recess without conceding.
Wanderers, who lost Malata earlier in the second half, managed to thwart Mafco’s menacing attacks.
Bottoman again came close to breaking the deadlock soon after resumption, but his shot was parried over by goalkeeper Jairos Kapalamula.
It was more of a cautious play from both teams as they did not risk men forward.
Wanderers coach Bob Mpinganjira blamed the result on Mafco’s tactics.
He said in a post-match brief: “It wasn’t football but war. So many fouls on my players. All these fouls disturbed our game-plan. But we managed not to lose. Football is not rugby. It’s unfortunate they came up with such unorthodox tactics.”
His Mafco counterpart, Temwa Msuku rued the chances they missed in the first half.
“We had many chances in the first half but could not make use of them. In the second half, despite having more men on the field than them, they still frustrated us. Sometimes things work that way in football. We were a bit cautious in the second half,” he said.
With the result, Wanderers are third on the log table with 38 points from 22 games, 10 points adrift of leaders Nyasa Big Bullets who have 48 points.
On the other hand, Mafco are eighth with 33 points from 23 games.