Reigning TNM Super League champions Silver Strikers started the second round on a poor note on Saturday when they went down 1-0 to Azam Tigers in a game played in the sweltering heat of the Lower Shire at Kalulu Stadium in Nchalo.
In Balaka, Big Bullets thrashed rookies Kabwafu 3-0 to go joint top with the Bankers on 31 points. However, Silverâ€”who will be taking on Bvumbwe Research this [Sunday] afternoon in Nchaloâ€”still have the bragging rights courtesy of a better goal difference.
The sky fell on the Bankers with virtually two minutes to full time when their defender Chipiliro Jose made a costly blunder in an attempt to pass the ball back to â€˜keeper Alex Makina, that resulted in Willie Saenda ghosting in to slot the ball homeâ€”it was all simple, nothing was forced.
In all fairness, Tigers deserved to win the game as they dominated the better part of the game, but their efforts were thwarted by the in-form Makina.
The Kau-Kau boys coach Leo Mpulula was delighted with the win.
“I am very excited, we deserved to win this game because we were by far the better side only that we fluffed a number of chances.
“All the same, I salute the boys for playing their lungs out. This is a sweet revenge because Silver beat us [2-0] in the first round,” said Mpulula. Tigers â€˜keeper Nenani Chiwaya was named man-of-the-match.
Tigers have now dislodged Mighty Wanderers on fourth position with 29 points. The Nomads, who were on bye are now fifth with 27 points.
In Balaka, veteran forward Heston Munthaliâ€”who keeps on getting better with age like good old vintage wineâ€”drew first blood for the Peopleâ€™s Team 10 minutes into the game.
He beautifully headed home a cross from captain Fischer â€˜Anongâ€™aâ€™ Kondowe. Seven minutes later, Bullets went two up through a penalty that was awarded after a dangerously advancing Gabadinho Mhango, was fouled in the 18-yard box.
And James â€˜Terminatorâ€™ Chilapondwa did the rest to perfection to send Bullets fans into frenzy.
Chimango â€˜Blackberryâ€™ Kaira hammered the third goal for the Peopleâ€™s Team with a long-range missile to put the game beyond Kabwafuâ€™s reach. Game over? Yes! And the Peopleâ€™s Team returned to Blantyre with full points.
In other games, Civo United edged Moyale Barracks 1-0 courtesy of John â€˜Kintuâ€™ Lanjesiâ€™s 47th minute strike in a match that saw the soldiersâ€™ captain Lameck Mughogho sent off for two bookable offences. The result was a repeat of the first round in which the Civil Servants also won by the same margin and coincidentally, Lanjesi scored the lone goal.
Civo are now on sixth position with 25 points.
At Zomba Community Centre ground, Mafco beat Blantyre United 2-1. Sadani Mangwere and Osward Nkagula were on target for the Salima-based soldiers while Waile Tembeta scored the consolation goal for United.