Be Forward Wanderers yesterday ended their three-game winless run with a 1-0 victory over Kamuzu Barracks (KB) at Civo Stadium in Lilongwe in an Airtel Top 8 quarter-final first leg tie.
Prior to this match, the Nomads had also not scored in three games but yesterday they saw off the Malawi Defence Force (MDF)-sponsored side with a display of compelling brilliance and had they been sharp in front of goal, they could have scored more.
The Nomads now have a spring in their step ahead of the second leg which they will host at their dreaded Balaka Stadium.
Midfielder Joseph Kamwendo netted the lone goal from a penalty in the 29th minute.
Referee Mischeck Juwa awarded the Lali Lubani Road the spot-kick after striker Zicco Mkanda was tripped by KB goalkeeper Lemani Nthala as he tried to round him up.
The Nomads dominated the first half with Mkanda, Kamwendo and Isaac ‘Tcheya’ Kaliati turning on a polished display.
Kaliati missed the best chance of the afternoon when he volleyed over the bar from close range.
KB improved in the second half as they matched the Nomads in aerial duels and initiated good attacking moves. However, they were the architects of their own downfall as they played a lot of high balls which the Nomads defence, in particular Lucky Malata, intercepted.
It was not surprising that the burly defender was named the Man-of-the-Match, which goes with a cool K50 000.
Wanderers went for the Lilongwe-based soldiers’ throats in the closing stages. Kamwendo’s low drive was brilliantly saved by Nthala. He also kept out Precious Sambani’s header from a corner kick.
Wanderers assistant coach Bob Mpinganjira admitted that they squandered a lot of chances, but was optimistic they would sail through to the next round.
“We dominated the game but we didn’t utilise the scoring opportunities we created. We will still work on improving finishing,” he said.
KB acting coach Temwa Msuku said they did not play according to their game plan which made it difficult for them to tame Wanderers.
“We were so focused on keeping the ball for unnecessarily long and, as a result, it was easy for Wanderers to close us down,” he said.
Nevertheless, Msuku said they still stand a chance of turning the tables in the second leg.
This afternoon, Malawi Police Service (MPS) side Blue Eagles host another MDF outfit Mafco FC at Nankhaka ground in Lilongwe. n