Civil Service (Civo) United made a victorious to the 2020/21 season with a 2-1 win over their capital city rivals Silver Strikers at Civo Stadium in the latest episode of the Lilongwe derby yesterday.
At Mzuzu Stadium, Be Forward Wanderers came from behind to force a one-all draw against Mzuzu Warriors.
At Civo Stadium, despite a poor attendance, the action on the pitch did not disappoint.
Silver went ahead in the 46 minute through Foster Biton who capitalised on a goal melee to slot the ball past Civo goalkeeper Tione Tembo.
Substitute Ranken Mwale equalised in the 69th minute minutes after replacing Muhammad Sulumba after the Central Bankers’ goalminder Charles Thom failed to tame a seemingly harmless ball and Mwale pounced to provide the final flourish.
Barely three minutes later, captain Raphael Phiri gave the hosts the lead when he headed home a Blessings Tembo corner kick.
Silver’s new-signing Nixon Mwase messed up an opportunity to level the scores soon afterwards he blasted the ball over from a Duncan Nyoni pass.
Silver made several changes as they sought to pull level, Chinsinsi Maonga came in for Biton while Mischek Malaicha, and Maxwell Phodo replaced Thuso Paipi and Herbert Wayekha in that order, but the Civil Servants held on to their nerve.
Civo assistant coach Elia Kananji applauded his players for making a strong comeback.
“The players never lost hope and managed comeback and win the game. That’s the spirit we want.
“It shows commitment. It’s great to start the league with a win against a good team. We really are pleased with this performance,” he said.
Silver coach Daniel Kabwe was disappointed with the result.
He said: “It’s not a true reflection of the game. We dominated the proceedings but lost focus after conceding that silly goal. The players were deflated and the goal took the rhythm out. It’s disappointing really.”
At Mzuzu Stadium, Warriors were the first to score after 14 minutes through Steve Madimba’s free kick that came after Nomads defender Stanley Sanudi fouled a Warriors player in the edged of 18-yard box.
Wanderers equalised in the 56 minute through Ted Sumani’s header from a throw in.
In a post-match interview, Nomads Bob Mpinganjira bemoaned the poor state of the pitch.
“The pitch disadvantaged us. We couldn’t express ourselves in such bumpy conditions. Anyway, this was only our first game and we hope to do well in the coming games,” he said.
His Warriors counterpart Gilbert Chirwa said the match officials failed to take a firm line.
“We were in control of the game and, we could have won, but the referee was favouring our opponents. Officiation was far from being fair,” he said.