Be Forward Wanderers’ fairy-tale run in the TNM Super League continued yesterday when they opened a two-point lead after coming from behind to beat a spirited 10-man Red Lions 2-1 at Balaka Stadium.
The Nomads now have 19 points from seven games, two ahead of second-placed Moyale Barracks who held Azam Tigers to a 1-1 draw at Kalulu Stadium in Nchalo. But while the Nomads extended their unbeaten run to seven games in the 16-team flagship league, they conceded their first league goal after 545 minutes.
And it had to take MacPeter Makwale’s right foot shot to beat the outstretched hands of Nomads’ ‘keeper Richard Chipuwa in the fifth minute.
The Nomads pulled level in the 28th minute through a strike of wondrous quality.
A well-curled free kick from Bongani Kaipa was flicked by Joseph Kamwendo into Yamikani Chester’s path and just when Lions players thought he would hit the ball first time, he caught them off-guard with a first touch pregnant with assurance, as he chested the ball down before releasing a cracker past goalkeeper Jacob Kaunda.
The Nomads then went on to take the lead in the 55th minute through a penalty awarded after their striker Precious Msosa was elbowed in the face by a Lions player. He lost a tooth in the process.
The decision sparked a storm of protest from Lions players but the referee stood his ground.
Up stepped Kamwendo to convert the second and the Nomads’ winning goal—no panic, no fuss, job done.
The Zomba-based soldiers were reduced to 10-men when Innocent Mulima was shown the red card for remonstrating against the referee.
Kamwendo turned from hero to villain moments later when his second spot-kick—awarded after a Lions defender had handled a goal-bound attempt from Chester—was superbly kept out by Kaunda and relief was the prevalent emotion for the Reds.
Nomads coach Yasin ‘Titch’ Osman described it as a tough game.
“We knew that being a top-of-the-table clash, it would be tough, but then the match also needlessly turned physical which took away some rhythm.
“But then we showed a strong character by coming from a goal down to win the game,” he said.
His Lions’ counterpart Mike Kumanga refused to comment.
Following the loss, Lions have dropped from second to fourth position with 15 points from nine games.
Champions Kamuzu Barracks (KB) returned to Lilongwe empty handed after losing both their games.
Yesterday they lost 2-1 to Blantyre United at Chilomoni Stadium in Blantyre. Wachimwa Sadiki drew first blood straight from a corner kick before Rafiq Juma made it 2-0, but Kelvin Hanganda pulled one back for KB who also lost 1-0 to Nyasa Big Bullets on Saturday.
Silver Strikers survived rookies’ Masters Security scare when they came from behind to force a one-all draw at Civo Stadium in Lilongwe. Vincent Nyangulu scored for Masters while Ghanaian Michael Tetth replied for the Bankers.