BY STEVEN WYSON
The TNM Super League title race took an exciting twist on Sunday as leaders Be Forward Wanderers opened a five-point gap at the summit of the log table after beating Civil Sporting Club 2-0 at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre.
This could be an advantage to Wanderers as they now have 48 points after playing 22 games, five points above Bullets who have a game in hand.
Francisco Madinga opened the scoring for Wanderers in the first half before Ted Sumani netted the second goal towards the end of the match to ensure maximum points for the leaders after goalkeeper laid down.
But the match between Wanderers and Civil was never short of drama as play was stopped for over 22 minutes due to crowd trouble after Mohammad Sulumba’s second half effort was ruled out for offside.
Fans pelted stones on the pitch which forced the referee to stop the match.
Following pressure, match commissioners allowed assistant referees to swap flanks, much to the delight of ganyu supporters.
Wanderers Head Coach, Bob Mpinganjira, said it was an important win after recently drawing 0-0 with Bullets.
“We are fighting our own war. We are not minding what is happening elsewhere,” he said.
Civil Coach, Franco Ndawa, blamed the loss on poor officiation.
“That goal was supposed to stand because it wasn’t an offside. Some of the decisions were not good which affected us. Even the break which came after our goal was ruled offside it also affected us,” he said.
However, it was a different story for Nyasa Big Bullets, defending champions who dropped two points following a goal-less stalemate with Mlatho Mponela at Civo Stadium.
At Civo Stadium, Bullets were frustrated by determined Mlatho Mponela who matched them in most of the departments. The rookies played with a purpose and bossed the midfield through Patrick Banda, Patrick Macheso and Ferguson Mtondo.
Mlatho also featured former Bullets and Wanderers playmaker, Jaffalie Chande, and he also showed some flashes of brilliance in the first half before he was substituted for Robert Sulitha in the second half.
But Bullets should also blame themselves for missing three good chances. Attacking midfielder Peter Banda blasted the ball over the bar from the six yard box whereas veteran Chiukepo Msowoya headed wide (over the cross) on two occasions.
On the other hand, Mlatho goalkeeper Chakonda Majanga was also good between the sticks. He was incharge of the Mlatho team.
In post-match interview, Mlatho Team Manager, Blessings Makanjira said his side deserved a point after hard work throughout the game.
“We will still fight for our life in the TNM Super League. We have been saying that referees have been oppressing us in previous games but today it was impossible for them. The players did a good job and we are happy with a point,” Makanjira said.
But on his part, Bullets Assistant Coach, Peter Mponda, was disappointed with the result but insisted the title race is still open to them.
“We do not want to focus much on other team’s results and we will keep on fighting. There are still more games to wind up the season,” Mponda said.
The draw against Bullets means Mlatho has moved one step to position 14 on the log table with 18 points from 22 games.