…..Civil 0-1 Silver
By Edwin Mbewe
LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-The Central Bankers have toughened the life of their crosstown rivals Civil Service United FC in the TNM Superleague after defeating them 1-0 at Civo Stadium on Saturday, September 30, 2023, in the reverse fixture.
The Bankers lost the first-round encounter 2-1 at Bingu National Stadium on July 30, 2023, hence revenging the damage.
The encounter between the two Capital City giants was sloppy in the first half despite creating some chances. Players from both sides failed to keep possession of the ball and to complete passes.
Civil Service United who dearly needed a victor to revive their hopes of survival in the league, first missed a chance in the 5th minute through Muhammad Biason who was left unmarked in the six-yard box but his tap-in missed the target.
Midfielder Lloyd Aaron whose uprising came at the 2023 COSAFA men’s Senior Challenge with Flames was booked a yellow following a foul on Chikondi Kamanga.
Zebron Kalima sent a dangerous cross inside the box in the 35th minute but Boston Kabango blocked it for a corner kick to the visitors which was defended. Damiano Kunje’s beautiful free-kick delivery to Luke Chima in the 36th minute ended forcing Pilirani Mapira to parry it out for a corner kick which the bankers defended.
As the match approached the end of the first stanza, Silver Striker’s Innocent Shema registered the first serious shot on target in the 39th minute but Civil goaltender Lumbani Nyirenda beautifully saved it. Nyirenda made magical double saves from Patrick Macheso and Zebron Kalima’s efforts.
Silver Strikers started dominating the play in the 43rd minute as they came wave after wave searching for goals but still, the goal line remained 0-0.
Patrick Macheso then got paid for the efforts as he scored for the Central Bankers on the dot of the added 3 minutes from a close range after a beautiful pass from Maxwell Paipi.
In the early minutes of the second half, Patrick Macheso got yellow carded for a foul on Muhammad Biason in the 49th minute.
In the 54th minute, Chimwemwe Idana and Shema exchanged sexy passes before Idana executed a powerful shot on Civil’s goal which goalkeeper Nyirenda saved for a corner kick.
As time was fast ticking for the Civil servants, the technical panel made double changes at the 57th minute, Festus Duwe and Dan Kumwenda replaced Lloyd Aaron and Luke Chima while Muhammad Biason was substituted for Innocent Tanganyika.
Silver Strikers launched a dangerous attack in the 62nd minute as Maxwell Paipi fed Idana in the box who sent his shot directly into the palms of goalkeeper Nyirenda.
In the 72nd minute Pilirani Mapira guarding the goalposts for the Bankers, made an excellent save to deny Civil an equaliser through Binwell Katinji who had received the ball from Tanganyika, a rebound by Moses Banda was cleared on the line by Shema.
In the 79th minute, Silver made two changes as Emanuel Muyira and Chinsinsj Maonga replaced Zebron Kalima and Patrick Macheso. Soon after his introduction Maonga dribbled past two Civil players before taking a shot that missed the target.
Silver Strikers technical probably made delaying tactics by substituting George Chaomba for Stain Davie in the 88th minute. Soon after 5 minutes of the play, the referee blew it over.
After the game, Assistant Coach for Civil Service United acknowledged the defeat saying his boys didn’t come for the party as they struggled from the word go.
“We have been sharpening them in terms of scoring but it seems it hasn’t worked out. But this is not yet over for us in the league and let me assure you that Civil will remain in the league. We are playing Karonga next this is another different game altogether hence no need to press a panicking button”, Chidati said.
Silver Strikers FC assistant coach Peter Mgangira hailed his boys for the sweet revenge against their City rivals.
“It was a difficult game as anticipated from a derby, but I am happy we scored in the first half and defended it. We created chances but failed to score hence told the boys to avoid conceding “, Mgangira said.
Silver Strikers FC have won the Capital City Derby for the first time after three seasons.
With the defeat, Civil Service United FC remains in the red zone at 14th position with 25 points from 23 games remaining with 7 games to wrap up the season. Servants’ next assignment is against Karonga United FC.
Silver Strikers FC occupy position 4 with 39 points from 22 games 4 points a draft league leaders Mighty Mukuru Wanderers FC who have played 22 games as well.
At Karonga Stadium in another fixture on Saturday Chitipa United FC added salt to Red Lions’ wounds as they defeated them 1-0 with a late strike from the spot by Ramadan Ntafu at 88th. With the win, Chitipa United FC moved to second position with 42 points from 23 games.
Red Lions FC from Zomba slowly heading to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) in the league as they dwell on position 15 with 18 points from 23 games.