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No Easy Road

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By Mabvuto Kambuwe & Benard Mhone

The twist and turns of the TNM Super League already showed their ugly face yesterday with Civil Service United securing Capital City bragging rights whereas giants Be Forward Wanderers escaped from the jaws of defeat.

Civo came from behind to defeat rivals Silver Strikers 2-1 at Civo Stadium whereas Wanderers also fought back to force a one-all draw with Mzuzu Warriors at Mzuzu Stadium.

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In Mzuzu, Steve Madimba gave Mzuzu Warriors the lead with a direct free-kick in the 14th minute.  In the second half, Wanderers introduced Rabson Rashid and Peter Wadabwa resting Isaac Kaliati and Mike Tetteh, respectively. Eventually Ted Sumani equalised for Wanderers in the 57 minute with a header following a throw-in from defender Yunus Sheriff.

Wanderers Coach Bob Mpinganjira said the result was fair considering that the game was played on a bad surface.

“The result is not very bad considering that we played on a rough pitch. We shall return and prepare well for the next assignment,” he said.

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Mzuzu Warriors Coach Gilbert Chirwa blamed referees, accusing them of giving away a goal to Wanderers on a silver platter. “The referees donated that goal to Wanderers. The goalkeeper was fouled but he ruled that goal to stand, which is very unfair,” he said. At Civo Stadium, striker Foster Biton gave Silver the lead soon after recess but Civo equalised through substitute Ranken Mwale before Raphael Phiri secured maximum points for the hosts.

Silver have started the season with a loss in Daniel Kabwe’s first match in charge of the Central Bankers.

The two teams also met last weekend in a Lilongwe Soccer Fiesta but Silver earned a 3-2 controversial victory at Silver Stadium. But Civo showed class and determination from start to finish with a commanding display.

Blessings Tembo, Moses Banda bossed the midfield as Chikondi Kamanga and Thuso Paipi played second fiddle.

At the back, Silver were solid in the first half as Herbert Wayenkha, Nickson Mwase and Chisomo Mpachika were on top of their game to contain Mohamad Sulumba and Phiri. On the other hand, Civo defence comprising Lawrence Chaziya, Damiano Kunje, Mathews Zaulombo and Timothy Silwimba provided cover to goalkeeper Tione Tembo. After the game, Civo Assistant Coach Eliya Kananji praised his troops for starting the season on a high.

“The players showed great character to fight back. We conceded first but the boys never gave up until we got all the three points,’’ Kananji said.

But Kabwe said derbies are always unpredictable in a game of football. “We made school boy errors which enabled our opponents to score the winner. But I am happy because my players played well. Every game is tough for any team because this is the top league,” Kabwe said.

At Mpira Stadium in Blantyre, Ntopwa made a strong statement after a resounding 3-0 victory over Moyale Barracks. Mphatso Magaleta, George Nyirenda and Arthur Moffati were on target for Ntopwa.

Ntopwa top the standings on goal difference as four teams tie at three points each.

Mighty Tigers are second following a 2-1 victory over TN Stars on Saturday whereas Civo are third with the same number of points. KB who defeated rookies Ekwendeni Hammers 1-0 in the opening day are fourth on the log table.

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