Mighty Mukuru Wanderers’ awful performance in the TNM Super League continued Sunday when they lost 4-3 to Civil Service United at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre to blow away their chance of top three finish this season.
This was the Nomads’ third successive loss in the league after suffering defeats to Blue Eagles 1-0 and Moyale Barracks 1-0.
An own goal by Wanderers’ captain Stanley Sanudi, a brace from Innocent Tanganyika and one from Shambisiwe Kanyika were ammunitions that Civil needed to finish their assignments in the league on a high note.
Wanderers’ goals from Vincent Nyangulu, Felix Zulu and Vitumbiko Kumwenda were not enough to save them from the humiliation.
Wanderers Coach Alex Ngwira charges were below par. conceded defeat, saying his
“Our players’ attitude was bad today. They were not in the game. They kept on making the same mistakes that have cost us the game,” he said.
Surely, Ngwira needed to voice out his frustration, as the Lali Lubani Road side made school boy defensive mistakes to give away all the important points.
Sanudi’s own goal, barely seconds into the match, was the fastest in the league so far, as it broke the hearts of a handful supporters.
The utility right winger made a back pass to his goalie Pilirani Mapira, who failed to stop it and watched helplessly as the ball slided into the net.
Sanudi again was a villain six minutes later when he made another blunder for the visitors to take a 2-0 lead.
However, the Nomads never gave up and continued pressing hard.
They got a reward 10 minutes into the match when Nyangulu connected a cross from the right to beat Tione Tembo in Civil’s goal.
Tembo could have done better to stop the ball after his defence was caught off guard.
Zulu broke the hearts of the visitors with his stunning goal at the edge of the box to get his team’s equaliser.
From there, it was a balanced match as both teams continued searching for a separating goal.
However, Civil restored their lead through Kanyika, who capitalised on goalkeeping and defensive lapses again in the Nomads camp.
It was an afternoon of errors at the back of Wanderers as the defence was completely off duty while their goalkeeper lacked command and protection to save the situation.
The game went for recess with Civil leading 3-2.
After the break, Civil continued pressurising the hosts through man of the match Christopher Kumwembe, Damiano Kunje, Kanyika and Henry Msowoya and got what they were looking for in the 54 minute when Tanganyika claimed his team’s fourth and his second on the day.
Wanderers responded by making several substitutions by introducing Ahamad Kung’unde, Kumwenda, Francis Mkonda and Chiukepo Msowoya.
The visitors were under intense pressure and failed to hold on when Kumwenda’s strike just outside the danger area proved too good for unimpressive Tembo between Civil’s goal-posts.
However, Civil defended in numbers while pushing forward in the closing stages of the match, as the Nomads came hard, for them to collect maximum points.
Civil Coach Franco Ndawa was delighted with the victory.
“I thank the boys for utilising their chances. We planned to score early and it worked. However, we failed to defend the lead but we are happy that the players took their chances and scored again,” Ndawa said.
The Nomads have failed to displace Silver Strikers on fourth position.
Wanderers remain fifth with 50 points from 28 games.
Civil have, however, completed their assignments this season with 45 points on position eight.
But they are at risk of being displaced by ninth placed Dedza Dynamos Salima Sugar who have 40 points and have two more games to wind up the league.
In other matches played yesterday, TN Stars drew 2-2 with Karonga United.
Alfred Chizinga and China Chirwa scored for Stars while Josiah Duwa and Henry Chiwaya were on target for Karonga.
Ekwendeni Hammers beat Kamuzu Barracks 1-0 courtesy of Gift Chunga’s goal.
Currently, Nyasa Big Bullets have retained the league with 67 points from 28 matches while Blue Eagles lie second with 59 points from the same number of matches.
Kamuzu Barracks have finished the season on position three with 57 points from 30 matches.
The top three will not change even if the teams below them win their remaining matches