• Wanderers 1 Surestream 0, KB hold Bullets 1-1 in Dedza
Be Forward Wanderers imported Lionel Asu from Cameroon to score. And today, on his debut, he delivered the goods just when the Nomads looked clueless at the hands of stubborn Surestream FC at Kamuzu Stadium.
Thrown in at half-time of the 2015 TNM Super League contest for Jimmy Zakazaka, Asu expertly and cheekily curled the ball into the top right corner with the outside of his foot when meeting twin striker Muhamad Sulumba’s flick in the 83rd minute.
In celebration, Asu raced half the length of the pitch. He threw himself and bowed at the feet of Elia Kananji, then handed over a wrist-band to the coach. The party hand just started on the blue side of the stadium.
Until that goal, Surestream, with defenders Chembezi Dennis and Keston Kasonda in battle mood, had done everything right to cage Wanderers who now have jumped from eighth to third on seven points from three games; at par with fourth-placed Big Bullets who drew 1-1- at Kamuzu Barracks.
It was a frustrating afternoon for coach Kananji who had dropped Richard Chipuwa, Francis Mlimbika, Malumbo Gondwe and Luka Milanzi from the starting XI for Peter Munthali, Ted Sumani, Jacob Ngwira and Jabulani Linje while deploying a 3-5-2 formation.
Having lost two straight matches, Surestream technical director Peter Mponda, who also doubles as a coach, had made it clear he was aiming for a point. And his charges fought like possessed boys stifling the Nomads in midfield while also denying them any set piece and crosses’ opportunities.
Mponda restored Ernest Tambe in midfield and the rookies had matters under control. Few were, thus least, surprised when the game ended goalless at half-time which found Mponda, donning a red jacket, yelling persistently at the referee Evidence Kananji for what he felt was incompetent officiation.
Then Asu arrived on the pitch while being eventually followed by Kondwani Kumwenda and Mulimbika for Zakazaka, Cuthbert Sinetre and Isaac Kaliyati respectively. But the more the Nomads attacked, the more Surestream stood firm and threatened to score.
Sulumba, who has scored in two consecutive games, thrice skied decent crosses and frustrations were clear for the Nomads whose technical director Yasin osman and football manager Eddingtone Ng’onamo operated from the VIP.
Then suddenly from the blues, Asu turned the game on its head with a cheeky goal with the ball seemingly fly out on to dip into the net. In other games, Mzuni registered their first win when beating Epac 1-0.
Kananji was relieved whereas Mponda was furious: “It was ash…officiation. Kananji is not fit to officiate in the Super League. We did everything right. We stopped the crosses and corners, but we lost to poor officiation.”