The TNM Super League title race might as well be over following Silver Strikers’ 1-0 win over Kamuzu Barracks on Sunday, which has created a 10-goal turn around effect with Bullets in their last fixtures next weekend.
Frank Banda’s priceless goal on Sunday shifted the odds in Silver’s favour.
The match started with scuffling between Kamuzu Barracks and Silver officials over juju fears, but police calmed down the situation.
On the pitch, there was no handshaking between the teams, an unusual thing in the tradition of the game.
The game was entertaining; with some mature football displayed by both sides, but it was Silver who had most chances.
KB had plenty of ball possession in the opening stages, but despite a succession of free kicks and corners, they could not create any clear chance until the 21st minute when Joel Chipofya broke free on the right wing to play a great ball into the path of Dan Ziba in the box. But Ziba shot wide with Charles Swini helpless between the sticks.
Silver countered a minute later. A Lucky Malata long ball found Ndaziona Chatsalira inside KB’s half. He played a fine pass to Roderick Gonani, who shot straight into Lemani Nthara’s palms.
Swini was called into action and saved again from a Ziba close range shot.
Banda could have given his side a lead 29 minutes into the game after being put through by Harvey Mkacha in the box, but his shot was weak and did not trouble Nthara.
The priceless goal for Silver came with just nine minutes left to recess.
Dave Moya dribbled past Dennis Kambewa on the left-wing to float a cross which found unmarked Banda who headed wide of Nthara, sending Silver fans in jubilation.
The stage was set for celebrations.
KB, however, never gave up. They came into the second-half with renewed purpose, managing to dominate the midfield, but were never a threat on goal.
Silver countered on every opportunity and the margin could have been bigger had Gonani, Mkacha and Peter Pindani taken their chances.
“Mulungu alemekezeke [Glory be to God]. It was a tough game, but we got the points,” said a relieved Silver coach Franco Ndawa in a post-match brief.
“We gave our all and never gave up. The boys were outstanding, only that we could not create enough chances. Congratulations to Silver, they took their chances,” said KB coach Kenwood Nkhoma.
Silver now have 58 points while Bullets have 55. Both remain with a game in hand. KB remain on 10th position with 36 points.
In another Super League fixture, Blue Eagles lost 2-1 to Red Lions at Nankhaka.