The long wait is over. The TNM Super League finally kicked off yesterday but pre-season blues were visible as players struggled to shake off rustiness and only two goals were scored in four matches.
Be Forward Wanderers launched their title bid the hard way as they struggled to beat defending champions Kamuzu Baracks (KB) 0-1 at Civo Stadium in Lilongwe. However, it was Dwangwa United’s Patrick Macheso who scored the first goal of the season when they beat newcomers Masters Security 1-0 at Chitowe Stadium in Dwangwa, Nkhotakota.
The other matches between Chitipa United and Nyasa Big Bullets at Mzuzu Stadium; PremierBet Wizards and Silver Strikers at Mulanje Park, produced no goals.
At Civo Stadium, littleknown Wanderers youth team graduate Julius Kajembe came off the bench to score the winner in the 74th minute in a balanced game.
The Nomads failed to find their attacking rhythm in the first-half as Kamuzu Barracks, playing their usual physical game, tamed them. But the Nomads improved in the second-half.
Striker Jafalie Chande was all over the hosts’ defence marshalled by Pilirani Makupe and Pempho Kansichiri. As the match was seemingly heading for stalemate, Nomads coach Yasin Osman unleashed his new assassin, Kajembe, who replaced another new comer, Gracious Sambani. It took Kajembe less than three minutes to overcome KB’s resistance.
Wander ers attackers exchanged some passes in the enemy’s half before a left cross found the 19-year old, who calmly noded it home.
The hosts tried to level the score, but attackers Manase Chiyesa and Kelvin Hanganda could not find their way. Osman conceded that they found it hard to stamp their authority.
“They were too physical for us, but it is pleasing that we still found a way,” he said.
Osman also showered praise for Kajembe, but warned against putting the teenager under pressure. Sulom general secretary Williams Banda said they were satisfied with how the league has started.
However, analyst Charles Nyirenda noted that the long break had some effect on the teams. “Otherwise, we should expect fireworks once the teams have shaken off the rustiness,” he said.