Fully armed 10-man Mafco successfully completed their Southern Region tour when they handed Be Forward Wanderers their first home defeat of the season in the TNM Super League Sunday.
Mafco, having defeated Ntopwa 2 – 0 on Saturday, humbled Wanderers 1-0 at Kamuzu Stadium to go top of the table, replacing brothers-in-arms Red Lions.
Referee Andy Kuseli flashed two red cards punishing Wanderers Assistant Coach Oscar Kaunda in the second half before Mafco defender Stain Malata got similar punishment.
Walusungu Mpata scored the game’s only goal in the 35th minute to take the Salima-based soldiers to the top of the table.
Mpata rounded off Wanderers defence before unleashing a shot past helpless goalkeeper William Thole.
However, Mafco should blame themselves for failing to wrap up victory after wasting several chances through Peter Katsonga and Kingsley Nkhonjera.
Katsonga blasted his shot wide after being properly set by Martin Masoatheka and Nkhonjera did the same a minute later.
Nomads’ only clear chance came in the 37th minute when midfielder Vitumbiko Kumwenda failed to produce magic.
After resumption Mafco still had the upper hand forcing Wanderers to make mistakes at the back but Katsonga again failed to convert his third chance in the 59th minute from another Masoatheka pass.
Sensing danger, Wanderers pulled out Hankey Machira for Alfred Manyozo Jr and striker Juma Yatuna for Babatunde Adepoju in an attempt to add some life to the game.
But the change came rather too late to turn around affairs on the pitch as Mafco continued pressurising the Lali Lubani Road side.
Realising danger Mafco Coach Temwa Msuku rested Masoatheka and Katsonga for defenders Alex Sikwambe and Zikani Sichinga to stiffen the defence in the 75th minute.
Late on Mpata forced Thole to make a double-save.
Msuku congratulated his players for putting up a gallant fight despite finishing the game with 10 men.
“I am happy to be going back home with six points. It was not easy especially in this game. It was hard and tense but the boys stood firm and we won,” he said.
Kaunda blamed defeat on bad luck.
“It was a bad day in office. We missed some good chances and our colleagues scored, from their chances, a goal that gave them maximum points. We will go back and rework on our shortfalls,” he said.
In other games played Sunday, Blessings Singini scored a decisive goal to hand Ekwendeni Hammers a 1 – 0 victory over Silver Strikers.
Chiletso Zoya and China Chirwa were on target once each as TN Stars defeated Blue Eagles 2 – 1.
Stuart Mbunge scored the consolation goal.
Mighty Tigers and Moyale Barracks drew one-all.
Edward Carlos scored for Tigers, with Lloyd Njaliwa scoring for Moyale.
Mafco top the table with 13 points from seven games whereas Lions lie second with 11 points from six games. Silver are third with 10 points from six games.
Peter Fote is a Sports Journalist with huge experience in radio and Television reporting, production and presentation. He once worked with Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) and is currently working for Times Media Group.