By Mabvuto Kambuwe:
Newly appointed Be Forward Wanderers assistant Coach Oscar Kaunda’s ability to guide the Nomads comes under the spotlight in a TNM Super League match against Dwangwa United at Kamuzu Stadium this afternoon.
Wanderers face Dwangwa without reinstated Coach Bob Mpinganjira who is part of the Malawi national football team coaching staff at the Cosafa Cup in Durban, South Africa.
The competition ends today with a final between Zambia and Botswana but the Flames played their last game yesterday against the hosts in the Plate final.
The match is Kaunda’s first after quitting Civil Sporting Club for Wanderers about two weeks ago.
The Nomads go into the match with a weakened defence as they are without Peter Cholopi, Stanley Sanudi and Dennis Chembezi who travelled with the Flames.
As if this is not enough, the Lali Lubani Road side will also be missing the services of Lucky Malata and Bongani Kaipa due to injuries.
Another key defender, Francis Mlimbika, is suspended after accumulating two yellow cards.
But Kaunda sounded calm and composed during an interview yesterday, saying he relishes his first assignment at Wanderers.
“It will be a tough match but it is a must win for us. We must win to move up the table. I appeal to our fans to give us support throughout the game. They should show their faith in the players and we will do well. I know all eyes will be on us because we are a big team,” Kaunda said.
He said the players had showed great commitment in training since he joined.
In the absence of the six defenders, Kaunda will bank on Hankey Machira, Ted Suman, Rabson Richard and Harry Nyirenda. But the Nomads have all their weapons in midfield.
Zicco Mkanda and Babatunde Adepoju are likely to lead the frontline with Alfred Manyozo Junior, Isaac Kaliati and Francis Mkonda manning the engine room.
On the other hand, Dwangwa also have good players capable of causing upsets.
Dwangwa assistant Coach, Ladwell Mbetewa, said his charges are on a serious mission.
“We may be underdogs on paper but we will surprise them on the ground,” he said.
Some of the lakeshore side’s most potent weapons are Chifuniro Mpinganjira, Francis Rabson, Blessings Singini and Victor Harawa.
Wanderers are on position eight in the elite league with seven points from four games whereas Dwangwa are 13th with five points from seven games.
Blue Eagles lead with 11 points having played six games, followed by Nyasa Big Bullets on 10 points from four games.
In other games scheduled for this afternoon, Masters Security take on resilient Chitipa United at Karonga Stadium whereas Mighty Tigers have a date against Mzuni at Mzuzu Stadium.
Kamuzu Barracks and Mlatho Mponela are in action at Civo Stadium.
Action continues tomorrow with Capital City giants Silver Strikers and Civil Sporting Club renewing their rivalry in a Lilongwe derby at Silver Stadium whereas Moyale Barracks face Tigers at Mzuzu Stadium. Rookies Ntopwa entertain Dwangwa at Kamuzu Stadium whereas Karonga United lock horns with Masters at Karonga Stadium.
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