Be Forward Wanderers on Sunday saw their lead at the summit of the TNM Super League cut by two points after settling for a one-all draw against Silver Strikers at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre.
Wanderers appeared to be on their way to victory after Francisco Madinga put them ahead in the 42nd minute but Khuda Muyaba’s sublime free-kick in the 67th minute saw the Nomads’ hopes going up in smoke.
Had they won the match, the LaliLubani Road outfit could have maintained a four-point lead on top of the 16-team log-table, but the stalemate means they are now just two points clear of second-placed Nyasa Big Bullets, who narrowed the gap with a 1-0 triumph over hosts Karonga United.
On Sunday, Wanderers dominated the first half, attacking from all angles in search of an early lead.
Their efforts paid off when Madinga made the most of Babatunde’s pass in the box to curl it beyond goalkeeper Brighton Munthali’s reach.
Babatunde took advantage of his lofty stature to wrest the ball from Silver defenders before poking it for advancing Madinga to score.
However, Silver restored parity deep in the second half after Muyaba curved in a wonderful free-kick that left goalkeeper NenaniJuwaya motionless between the posts.
The free-kick followed a foul on Michael Tetteh a few metres away from the box.
“We desperately needed three points in our bag to be comfortable at the summit of the table and it is really painful that we have droped points,” said Wanderers head coach Bob Mpinganjira.
“We could have killed the game off in the first half, but we missed a lot of chances. This is a bad day for us.”
Silver assistant coach Abbas Makawa, whose team has maintained the fifth position with 33 points from 19 matches, said: “A point is not bad for us considering the intensity of the game.”
In Karonga, Bullets secured victory through Nixon Nyasulu, who headed home from Peter Banda’s well-taken free-kick in the 27th minute.
Bullets coach Calisto Pasuwa, whose side thrashed Chitipa United 3-0 on Saturday, said they are happy to have overcome fatigue to bag six points from their two away games and narrow the gap with Wanderers.
“We are taking one game at a time and we still have more games to play before we can comfortably say we are bound to defend the title. However, it is a relief that we have narrowed the points-gap against our rivals,” he said.
In another interesting affair yesterday, Blue Eagles and Kamuzu Barracks (KB) settled for a goalless draw at Civo Stadium to tie on 35 points. In spite of that, Eagles are third on the table on better aggregate while KB are fourth.
TN Stars thumped Ntopwa FC 3-1 at Kasungu Stadium. China Chirwa’s brace and Mabvuto Chipolopolo’s strike ensured that they are sixth on the table with 31 points from 19 matches. Ntopwa, who scored through Victor Chirambo are 14th with 17 points from 21 games.