TNM Super League champions Silver Strikers on Saturday showed no mercy in the destruction of their capital city rivals Civil Service (Civo) United 3-0 at the latter’s backyard.
However, despite the Bankers win, it is Blantyre United who still have the bragging rights at the summit of the log table after edging strong-willed Bvumbwe Research 2-1 at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre.
United now have 45 points from 23 games—two points ahead of the Bankers who have a three game cushion having played 20 games.
Civo have of late turned into chocolate fireguards whenever they face their rivals and Saturday’s defeat was the third this season. They lost the first round league match 1-0 and were again thrashed 4-1 in a Standard Bank Knockout Trophy semi-final match.
A bewitchingly creative display by revived and remoulded midfielder Frank Banda was the centrepiece of the Bankers fluent performance, but it was striker Harvey Mkacha who stole the show with a double.
Silver drew first blood in the 40th minute through Banda from a goal scramble with a simple tap-in and they led 1-0 at interval before Mkacha struck twice to put the game beyond the Civil Servants’ reach.
The second goal came in the 73rd minute while the last, that came with barely three minutes to full time, was a beauty. Mkacha swung upfield to plant home a cross from Ndaona Daisi following a counter attack.
Silver’s coach Franco Ndawa was excited with the win.
“I don’t have much to say, I just want to thank the Almighty God for guiding us to win this game. We played according to plan and I am happy that we will be finishing the year on a good note,” said Ndawa.
Civo’s coach Thom Mkolongo said his side gave away simple goals.
At Kamuzu Stadium, a frenzied late assault earned United a seemingly unlikely victory over the researchers.
With the match seemingly headed for a one-all draw, Muhammad Sulumba struck the priceless winner two minutes into added time and relief was the prevalent emotion in United’s camp.
United’s coach Elia Kananji said he was delighted with the win as any other result could have affected their chase for league honours.
“It is good that we fought until virtually the last minute of the game and I am happy that we are still at the top of the table and even though Silver have three games in hand, that does not bother us much, we’ll keep on fighting to the very end,” he said.
Tizgowere Kumwenda put United in the lead in the 35th minute, but Vincent Chinthenga equalised for Bvumbwe 10 minutes into the second half to lead the scorers chart with 13 goals.
In Zomba, Azam Tigers’ poor run continued when they went down 2-0 to Red Lions through Kelvin Katema and Edwin Ng’oma goals. The Zomba-based soldiers have now overtaken Mighty Wanderers on fourth position with 38 points from 21 games.
Moyale Barracks beat Mafco 3-1 at Chitowe. Anthony Manda, Brian Chikwanda and Chamveka Gwetsani were on target for Moyale while Oswald Nkagula scored the consolation goal for Mafco.
Moyale, who are under the tutelage of former Mafco’s coach Temwa Msuku, are now on eighth position with 32 points from 23 games.