Charles Manda wins trophy in Lesotho
Former Escom United coach, Charles Manda, became arguably the first Malawian to win a trophy in Lesotho after steering the country’s Econet Premier League champions Matlama FC to Independence Cup glory.
Matlama, who hired Manda in July 2019 from eSwatini where he was based, defeated LCS 1-0 courtesy of Keketso Synedrs’ own goal last Sunday at Setsoto Stadium to lift the cup, according to Lesotho Times.
The newspaper quoted the former Mighty Tigers mentor as hailing his charges’ show of character.
“It was not an easy final and it could have gone either way because LCS had their chances but they failed to bury them. We only created one chance and we came up with a goal from it,” said Manda who replaced Thabile Secher.
Under Manda, Matlama have played 10 games, winning six, drawing two and losing two andlie second on the log table, eight points behind leaders Bantu.
Manda, who returned to eSwatini earlier this year after being sacked by Nchalo United last season, said the cup had boosted his CV in foreign land.
“This was an important win not only for the team but for me too because I know some people were doubting me. However, people should know that I know what I am doing and this is evidence for that. We may not be where we want to be but the team is progressing inch by inch,” the former Be Forward Wanderers left-back said.
Manda led Escom (now defunct) to TNM Super League championship and has also coached clubs such as Manzini Sundowns and Mbabane Citizens.
Matlama also took part in Caf Champions League preliminary round games but exited the competition after losing 4-0 over two legs to Atletico de Luanda of Angola.
Apart from Manda, Patrick Mabedi (club-less) and John Maduka (South Africa’s Bloemfontein Celtic assistant mentor) are other Malawian coaches in foreign land.