Azam Tigers thrashed Silver Strikers 3-0 at Kamuzu Stadium in a friendly match on Saturday to raise questions on the Standard Bank Knockout Trophy kings’ preparedness.
It was Kau Kau’s first big win under coach Gerald Phiri.
Silver had a chance to crawl back some respect to the scoreline a few minutes before break, but Ghanian striker Samuel Siaw—after Patrick Thupi handled the ball—had his penalty punched by Tigers goalkeeper Nenani Juwayo.
Instantly after the miss, Silver coach Stan Chirwa dragged out Siaw for Sam Gunda. In the second-half, Rodrick Gonani, Chikondi Maloya and Kondwani Chirwa were introduced, but the Bankers could not translate their lion’s share of ball possession, inspired by Timothy Chitedze and captain Green Harawa, into goals.
Tigers had a dream start, Peter Cholopi thumped the ball into the net after a corner-kick on two minutes. Peter Katsonga then squeezed his header at the near post of Silver goalkeeper Blessings Kameza. Finally, Emmanuel Chipatala turned the hands of time on the half-hour mark from range. He cut inside from the right to, with his cultured left foot, drill the ball into the far post of diving Kameza.
All goals came inside the opening 30 minutes.
It was a sixth warm-up game for Silver who have won three, drawn once and lost the rest, but Chirwa was unshaken with the loss.
“It does not worry me as we have a back-up of players who are with the national team. We are looking at building a good side. And there are no targets. We do not want to pile unnecessary pressure on the players,” said Chirwa, who was without national team players Ndaziona Chatsalira, Young Chimodzi Jnr, Peter Wadabwa and Lucky Malata.
Tigers’ technical director Robin Alufandika said their charges are gelling under the tutorship of Phiri who lost 3-0 to Big Bullets in his first high-profile friendly match. Tigers were also without Stanley Sanudi, Malumbo Gondwe and Isaac Kaliati.
During the second-half of the game, Phiri substituted Juwayo, Clifford Kankhuni, Bonda Mpinganjira, Cholopi, Hanke Machira, Chipatala, Thupi, Yamikani Chester, Bright Munthali and Katsonga for Ernest Kakhobwe, Peter Mpulula, Anthony Kayipa, Usher Chinkombelo, Owen Mphasi, Daniel Siwale, Willy Saenda, Mike Chitani, Nowman Mwamusamali and Stein Pendame respectively.