Be Forward Wanderers yesterday became the first team to book a place in the Airtel Top-8 final after coming from behind to beat Moyale Barracks 3-2 at Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe.
The Nomads were in full control in the first 30 minutes, creating clear chances which never materialised into a goal. Striker Jabulani Linje and midfielder Yamikani Chester were the most culprits.
Linje, on two occasions, shot wide with the goal wide open. Moyale also had two attempts on goal in the half-hour, with the second resulting in a goal.
It was a sole work from Boyboy Chima, who after receiving a pass from Dan Katunga, maintained composure despite being pursued by three Wanderers defenders before picking his spot with a fine strike.
The ball hit the side post and bounced into the net past a stranded Richard Chipuwa on Wanderers goals. After the goal it was one way traffic as Moyale took control of the game with Khuda Muyaba and Lloyd Njaliwa orchestrating play from the midfield.
Moyale deservedly got the second in the 36th minute through Katunga’s volley, which screamed past Chipuwa. But a moment of lapse in Moyale defence ensured Wanderers went into recess with a 2-1 deficit as Khumbo Ng’ambi scored in added time.
At half-time, juju beliefs took over the proceedings as two Wanderers supporters invaded the pitch, one of them urinating at one of the goal posts.
Wanderers reserve players joined the rituals as they inserted some objects at the northern goal post, but a Moyale fan went into the pitch to remove them. After recess, Wanderers started the second-half strongly and levelled the scores in the 51st minute.
Again, it was purely predatory intuition on the part of Ng’ambi who beat Moyale goalkeeper Simeon Harawa.
Linje, Ng’ambi and Chester combined well in the secondhalf tearing Moyale defence. Ng’ambi made it a hat-trick from Felix Zulu pin-point pass in the 70th minute.
“We knew what we were doing. We never lost hope even when we were down. The plan was to take the game to Moyale after half-time. We had to score an early goal, which we did.
The players responded well and we scored two goals in the secondhalf,” said Wanderers coach Yasin Osman in a post-match interview.
A depressed Moyale assistant coach Wilson Mkandawire said, tactically, they started poorly.
“It was a great lapse on our part. It is painful. We had control, then we lost it all. It shouldn’t have happened,” he said.