The first round of the 2016 TNM Super League concluded last weekend with 294 goals scored; 34 goals better than at the same stage last season and 35 more than in 2014.
However, this does not mean there has been any improvement because the average score-line per game has remained 2.5 as the number of teams in the top-flight league has increased to 16 from 15, a development that pushed the number of first-round games to 120 from 105.
Statistics also show that league leaders Blue Eagles have completed the round with 32 points, the same as last season. Defending champions Nyasa Big Bullets finished at the top last season.
Eagles are also the highest scoring team with 29 goals while at the same stage last season, Bullets were highest scorers with 27 goals.
Probably, the most significant change so far is that the leading individual scorer has notched three goals more. Mafco striker Richard Mbulu and his Be Forward Wanderers counterpart Peter Wadabwa are joint leading scorers with 11 goals each. Yet, at the same stage in 2015, Red Lions’ Innocent Bokosi was at the summit with nine goals.
According to soccer analyst Charles Nyirenda, there has been little or no improvement on scoring because Super League coaches have generally failed on their duties to offer technical advice to the players.
“Most teams have been very aggressive on the attack but their players lacked technical abilities to score more goals,” said Nyirenda. “Coaches are to blame for this problem because they could not ably tell their players what to do in front of goal.”
“Accurate shots on goal per game have not been more than three and this is disastrous. Easy goals are scored in the box but our strikers fear to get into this area and they do not make effort to first destabilise opposition’s defence before shooting at goal.”
According to Super League of Malawi (Sulom) fixtures secretary Patrick Chisale, Azam Tigers have proved to be the most powerful defensively as they have conceded only nine goals while rookies MTV Max Bullets have the weakest defence having collected the ball from their net 32 times.
Eagles’ forward Maxwell Salambula managed two hat-tricks whereas Wadabwa, Epac’s Anthony Banda and Moyale Barracks’ Gastin Simkonda have done it once apiece. Stevie Msiska of Karonga United and Stevie Chagoma of Blue Eagles scored own goals.
At least 168 yellow cards and 14 red cards have been flashed out and Mzuni have accumulated most of them as they have 29 yellow cards and two red cards. They are followed by Red Lions who have 25 yellows and two reds.
Dwangwa United are yet to register a win at home while Kamuzu Barracks, Wizards, Karonga United and MTV Max Bullets have not been victorious away. Wanderers have been good travellers as they have not lost away. Kamuzu Barracks have plucked the most draws; seven.