Malawi football champions, Mighty Be Forward Wanderers veteran midfielder, Joseph Kamwendo’s spot kick Sunday earned his team 0-1 victory over Kamuzu Barracks in the Airtel Top 8 quarter final first leg played at Civo Stadium in Area 9 in Lilongwe.
Wanderers carried a narrow win for the second return leg at home in Balaka and the victory has the growing removed pressure the technical team was facing due to dismal performance of the team.
The Technical team was given five games to produce desirable results in the league and the cup game has given them hope of better performances.
Last year’s Top 8 losing finalists, Wanderers missed the services of their veteran strikers, Essau Kanyenda and Peter Wadabwa had to pin their hopes in getting goals from Khumbo Ng’ambi and former foreign based striker, Zicco Nkanda who had a fair share of professional career in Mozambique with a number of clubs.
The two teams observed a minute of silence in honour of the late Wanderers Technical Director, Jack Chamangwana who passed on last Sunday at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH) and was buried at Misesa cemetery.
Kamuzu Barracks played badly in the first half as they failure to contain mounting pressure as and they resorted to their traditional football of high balls unlike what they show cased during the FAM Charity Shield.
Wanderers enjoyed better part of the opening minutes of the game but Nkanda, Ng’ambi and Stanley Kaliati wasted golden chances but Kamuzu Barracks captain and goalkeeper, Lehman Nthala was always alert.
The deadlock was broken in the 39th minutes when Nkanda was adjudged to have being brought down by keeper Nthala and referee Misheck Jube awarded a penalty which converted by Kamwendo to make it 0-1.
Nyerere fans morale was on top gear as the two teams went for break and their team was narrowly leading with an important away goal.
The second saw Kamuzu Barracks resting veteran midfielder Davie Banda for Ben Hojani in the 52nd minute as Wanderers midfielders the likes of Ernest Tambe, Alfred Manyozo, Kamwendo and Kaliati appeared to be in control.
Wanderers nearly went two up in 54th minute when Nkanda went an inviting cross in the box but unbelievably Kaliati blasted the ball at the mercy of Nthala.
The absence of Kelvin Haganda upfront was visibly seen as Manase Chiyesa failed to combine well with Sammy Chiponda and this enabled Wanderers custodian, Richard Chipuwa to have a field day.
The last minutes Kamuzu Barracks lived dangerous as they could have conceded another goal as Nkanda and Julius Kajembe who came in for Ng’ambi kept knocking by they were jealously guarded by Pempho Kansichiri and Blessings Kawanga in central pack for the soldiers.
“This is a relief to our team, we have managed to get a goal and the goal drought we were experiencing has been removed,” Wanderers diehard, Sympathy Chisale observed after the final whistle.
He was quite to say the team still has a lot to improve particularly in utilising the chances being created.
“We could have scored more than three goals if our players were composed at goal,” Chisale added.
Kamuzu Barracks fan, Mark Phiri blamed the team for a slow start of the game which enabled Wanderers to settle quickly and dominated play.
” It appears our team has gone back to the old ways of playing high balls unlike what they showed us during the Charity shield games where they played down balls always,” he pointed out.
Phiri said the second the team need to change their approach if they are serious of progressing into the next round.
Kamwendo was named man of the match and went away with miniature trophy and MK50, 000 cash.