By Tione Andsen
Kamuzu Barracks (KB) Saturday laboured to collect maximum points after narrowly edging Mlatho Mponela 1-0 in the TNM Super League encounter played at Civo stadium in Area 9, Lilongwe.
Kamuzu Barrack’s hot scoring machine, Marshal Maluwa scoring the lone within 54 seconds of the game to silence the visiting Mlatho Mponela.
Maluwa has increased his goal tally to four and is among top leading goal scorers and at the rate of his form he can gun for the top prize at the end of the season.
With the win, Kamuzu Barracks have moved to second position on the log from sixth with 11 points from five games while Mlatho has moved to position 13 from 14 with five points from seven games.
The two week break the league had a negative impact to the players as they looked not fit for the game.
The host only broke the deadlock just 54 seconds into play when Maluwa planted home Sam Gunda’s free kick which was awarded 35 metres away from the goal mouth.
Maluwa nearly made it 2-0 in the 21st minute when he dribbled past two Mponela defenders, Innocent Bottomani and Chuki Hussen but his drive eluded Mlatho keeper Chakonda Majanga and it missed the upright.
Mlatho could have leveled the scorers in the 34th minute when Patrick Banda’s hard drive outside the penalty box was brilliantly saved by Kamuzu Barracks goalie, Bonage Lweya.
The Chiwoko boys went for recess smiling while holding to their 1-0 lead.
Four minutes in the second half Kamuzu Barracks were awarded a penalty by referee, Easter Zimba when Mlatho defender, Semu Banda formerly of Blue Eagles had handled the ball in the penalty box and the resultant spot kick by Maluwa was craftily saved by Mlatho keeper, Majanga.
Mlatho had their penalty appeal turned down by referee, Zimba when the ball hit defender Nation Harazi in the penalty area.
Mlatho fans were denied total celebration for an equalizer in the 54th minute over lapping defender; Portifer Likoswe missed a chance for an equalizer
Both teams made substitutions Kamuzu Barracks brought in Francisco Kadzeka for Ndaona Dani in 51st minute, Maluwa for Manase Chiyesa 73rd minute, Gerald Chingana for Chimwemwe Chisambi 83rd minute while Mlatho pushed in Erick Kaonga for Mustafa Maulana in 52nd minute, Anderson Kumpolota for Sautha Robert in the 80th minute but the second half changes made no impact to the game in order to get more goals.
“Am happy we have managed to collect three points after coming from three weeks break. Although we had problems in coordination but we managed to contain them,” Kamuzu Barracks head coach billy Phambala said.
He said despite missing a penalty kick we cannot blame anybody but that could have given us a chance to improve goal tally.
Mlatho Mponela Head Coach, George Zulu said was not happy with officiation saying it has contributed to their defeat.
“We had penalty call but it was not given while our opponents were given soft penalty to which our keeper saved it,” he added.