Scores of Be Forward Wanderers supporters on Wednesday left the Kamuzu Stadium mouth agape in bewilderment after their team conceded three goals within 10 minutes in their 4-3 victory over Red Lions.
With 15 minutes left to play and the Nomads leading 4-0 from in-form striker Peter Wadabwa’s brace, Jabulani Linje and Isaac Kaliyati goals, it was normal for the supporters to start celebrating the victory.
But in a twist of events, Lions scored three quick-fire goals that spoke volumes of the homework the Nomads need to do before their next assignment.
Just a minute after injured central defender Boston Kabango was replaced by Alfred Manyozo Jnr in the 35th minute, Red Lions substitute Peter Makwale tore apart Wanderers defence before tapping in from close range beating goalkeeper Peter Munthali.
Kumbukani Mwambene made it 4-2 two minutes later with a half volley just outside the box.
The Lions’ second goal dazed the Nomads, but they still had a two-goal cushion.
However, the third goal sent the supporters into panic mode after Benisi Kaisi swiftly side-footed from a corner kick in the 42nd minute.
Silence reigned in the Nomads stands filled with a sizeable crowd that came to witness the match after the reshuffling of the technical panel which saw Eddington Ng’onamo replacing Jack Chamangwana as acting head coach.
Tension followed as the blue side of town dreaded what would happened if dominating Lions got a fourth goal.
Luckily, the Nomads held on to the slender lead and qualified for the quarter-final where they will meet Max Bullets who beat Wizards FC 2-1.
After the game, assistant coach Elia Kananji expressed shock at how the team almost gave up the victory.
“We have a big problem in defence. What today’s game has revealed is that it is Boston [Kabango] who was making things work in our defence. Otherwise, conceding three goals within those minutes is too bad for us,” said Kananji.
Lions coach Mike Kumanga wore a brave face despite the loss.
“I am sure people who came to watch the game have been entertained to the fullest. We have lost like soldiers,” he said.
In Lilongwe, Blue Eagles booked a last 16 date against Nyasa Big Bullets after beating Silver Strikers 4-2 through post-match penalties.
Eagles coach Deklerk Msakakuwona gave credit to God for the victory.
“It was a difficult game, but God gave us victory today,” he said
Silver assistant coach Lovemore Fazili said they missed a lot of chances.
“This is painful because penalties are unpredictable,” he said.
In the other last 16 match, Mafco beat Azam Tigers 4-1 and will face Dwangwa United in the quarter-final.
Kabwafu beat Mchengautuwa 4-3 through post-match penalties while Epac thrashed Dululu 3-0.
Epac will play the winner between Moyale Barracks and Masters Security while Kabwafu will wait fo the winner between big Bullets and Blue Eagles. n