Malawi National Football Team attacking midfielder Peter Banda opened his goal account for Tanzania Premier League giants Simba Sports Club in a 2-1 win over Geita Gold on Wednesday night.
Banda, who had a low start to his career in the neighbouring country, was in the starting lineup and opened the scores to inspire Simba to the win.
The goal was a source of relief to the former Nyasa Big Bullets star, who joined the East African side after a six-month loan spell at Moldova side Sheriff Tiraspol.
The diminutive star clearly struggled for game-time after his arrival but should be hoping that the goal will help him cement his place in the starting lineup.
He joined another Flames star Gabadinho Mhango, who was also in action during Orlando Pirates’ 2-0 win over LPRC Oilers in a Caf Confederation Cup fixture after missing 12 matches.
Banda said he was excited to register his name on the score sheet.
“I just need patience from the fans. I expect to reward their patience with more goals. I needed this goal to boost my confidence and I am ready to prove my worth. I can assure them that the best is yet to come,” Banda said.
The youngster admitted that he took time to adapt to the demands of the Tanzania Premier Soccer League, which is different from what he was used to in Moldova.
“The league here is completely different from Europe; so, it was not easy for me. But I have settled down well and I thank my teammates and technical staff for their support,” he said.
Banda played 68 minutes of the match and registered a 92 percent pass accuracy rate with two chances created.
Mzamiru Yassin scored the other goal for Simba to ensure full points.
However, his compatriot Duncan Nyoni was not in the match-day squad.
Flames coach Meck Mwase said he needed all his foreign-based players to gain match fitness through earning game-time.
“It is a huge relief that some of our players are enjoying game-time ahead of the Afcon [Africa Cup of Nations] finals in Cameroon.
“We need all our players to be in shape. What Peter has done is encouraging and we hope all the players will also transform their club form to the national team,” Mwase said.
The former Griffin Young Stars forward joined Simba on a three-year deal after scoring seven goals and providing 10 assists in all competitions at Sheriff.
While at Sheriff, Banda tasted Uefa Champions League action as he featured in the preliminary stages.
Sheriff went on to qualify for the group stages where they are brushing shoulders with giants Real Madrid and Inter.
Simba are second in Tanzania’s league with 19 points from seven matches, two points behind leaders Young Africans.