Winger Wisdom Mpinganjira put his father Bob and uncle Albert’s Be Forward Wanderers jobs in jeopardy with a commanding man-of-the-match display for Hangover United who stunned Be Forward Wanderers 2-1 at Kamuzu Stadium Friday.
Wisdom, the player Wanderers refused to sign in the pre-season, provided an assist for two-goal hero Brighton Gomani’s 61st-minute winner in this Fisd Challenge Cup quarter-final.
As Wisdom picked his man-of-the-match award on the pitch, Bob rubbed his nose, Albert walked away while Captain Alfred Manyozo Junior wept on the substitutes’ bench.
Terrible football hangover!
In a post-match interview, Wisdom, who Albert coached at Wanderers Reserve, was a model of modesty.
“It is all part of the game. When I go back home, it would be life as usual. Our win does not change the fact that he is my father,” Wisdom said.
Bob, who wore a brave face despite also losing 2-0 last Sunday to Blue Eagles in a TNM Super League match, faulted his charges’ attitude for the loss.
“Our attitude was wrong. We underrated them and when you do that, football punishes you,” he said.
The victory was even sweeter for Hangover coach McDonald Yobe, a former Nomads winger who shared the secret for their victory.
“When we conceded early, I just told the players to calm down and come back into the game. I think Wanderers were a bit slow on the ball and we were counter-attacking them. It might happen again [winning in the semi-final] but we have another mountain to climb,” Yobe said.
Hangover, who booted out Mighty Tigers 3-2 on post-match penalties last week, proceed to the semi-final to date the winner of another quarter-final between Kamuzu Barracks and Savenda Chitipa.
Whether they go all the way in this competition, the Fisd cup story for this season will no doubt be about Hangover.
During the game, Wanderers looked set for a routine win.
Striker Vincent Nyangulu, who started upfront alongside Mischeck Botomani in a changed starting 11, put Wanderers ahead in the second minute, getting to the end of a flowing move before placing his effort past goalkeeper Rahaman Julius.
However, the victory was short-lived as Gomani beat the hosts crumbling highline before drilling the ball between goalkeeper Nenani Juwaya’s legs at the near post a few minutes later.
The goal sobered up the Premier Division side which was the first on the ball and showed more desire and determination than most Wanderers players.
With more urgency and precision, the Nomads should have levelled matters but Nyangulu mistimed the flight of Botomani’s low cross from the left wing, then the latter placed wide his effort across the goal-mouth.
In the second-half, Nyangulu continued from where he stopped in his business of wastage, as after arriving in the box to welcome defender Eric Atsiga’s clearance from defence, the striker chipped the ball over the bar in the 46th minute.
Such a miss proved costly as Gomani added the second following a blistering counter-attack that saw Widsom providing the assist.
Bob threw into action Babatunde Adepoju, Francisco Madinga and Zicco Mkanda to replace Mike Kaziputa, Botomani and Francis Mkonda but Hangover stood firm at the back.
The minnows even threatened to add the third goal through Gomani but Wanderers cleared the danger.
For starters, Blantyre’s Nacholi Township businessperson Fayad Jussab sponsors the Southern Region Premier Division side whose monthly budget is pegged at K1.7 million, which is not even enough for Wanderers’ six players.
Money does not always buy you success. This typical David versus Goliath contest proved this.
Last year, Wanderers beat Hangover 4-0 in the Carlsberg Cup semi-final. This was a perfect revenge.
Line-ups: Wanderers: Juwaya, Harry Nyirenda, Astiga, Francis Mlimbika, Stanley Sanudi, Mkonda (Mkanda), Kaziputa (Madinga), Isaac Kaliyati, Manyozo Junior, Nyangulu, Botomani (Babatunde).
Hangover: Rahaman Julius, Frank Nedi, Asumani Julius, Akanakimana Willy, Wisdom Mizeye, Innocent Indwa, Robert Khwiriro, Mpinganjira, Emmanuel Lino, Dan Matchipisa, Gomani.
Peter Kanjere is a versatile Journalist currently working for Times Group as Assistant Editor for The Daily Times.
With vast experience in the industry, he is also an accomplished Sports Analyst, whose exploits in sports reporting and analysis span beyond the length and breadth of the African continent.