By Mphatso Malidadi:
TNM Super League leaders, Be Forward Wanderers, laboured to return to winning ways with a 2-1 victory over stubborn Mighty Tigers at Mulanje Park Stadium Sunday.
It was a relief for Wanderers who were held to two barren draws in consecutive TNM Super League encounters against Silver Strikers and Nyasa Big Bullets.
Following the win, the Nomads shot back to the top with 30 points from 13 games whereas Tigers wrapped up their first round assignments with 19 points.
After firing blanks against Silver and Bullets, the elite league’s top goal scorer Babatunde Adepoju was relegated to the bench.
The match drew a capacity crowd with hundreds of supporters trying to force their way in even when it was clear that there was no more space.
The bumpy playing surface made it difficult for both sides to play a passing game.
Peter Kasonga justified his inclusion in the starting line-up by scoring against his former side with a clever connection in the 20th minute.
However, Wanderers’ lead was short-lived as Chikaiko Batison was left unmarked to connect home a free header from Willy Saenda’s cross.
The match was then stopped for almost five minutes following tear gas which the police fired to quell the commotion at the gates.
Early in the second half, Wanderers replaced Hankie Machira with Babatunde whereas Misheck Botomani went in for Zicco Mkanda later.
Tigers responded by substituting Shasimbiwe Kanyika for former Nomad Victor Nyirenda.
Both teams were aggressive in this half as they looked for goals.
Babatunde eventually won the match for Wanderers with a fine connection following a goal melee in the 74th minute.
Felix Zulu was named Man-of-the-Match but it was Tigers’ William Thole who got a standing ovation following his impressive performance.
Wanderers Coach, Bob Mpinganjira, said their performance was affected by the bumpy surface.
“It was not easy to exchange passes on this rough surface. That is why we opted for high balls to win the game in the second half,” Mpinganjira said.
His Tigers counterpart, Gerald Phiri Senior, said they did not create enough chances to win the game.
“It was a game of few chances and we did not create enough to win the match,” Phiri said.
In other games played yesterday, Masters Security drew 1-1 with Blue Eagles whereas Moyale Barracks beat Mlatho Mponela 2-1.
Karonga United and TN Stars also settled for a 1-1 stalemate whereas Silver Strikers edged Ntopwa 1-0