Bob and Albert Mpinganjira might no longer be Mighty Wanderers’ saviours on the pitch, but there was fresh evidence on Saturday that no one can erase the popular Lali Lubani Road name.
The Mpinganjira legacy continued on this humid afternoon as Albert watched from his assistant coach seat his son Victor stage a 2-2 rescue operation against uncompromising Civo United at the Kamuzu Stadium.
The young Mpinganjira’s 73rd-minute thumping drive saved the Nomads from embarrassment after Civo’s first- half 2-1 lead.
The result dampened the Nomads’ title chase as they remain fourth on 39 points with four games to go. The Nomads are six points behind holders Silver Strikers who drew 1-1 with Moyale Barracks also on Saturday and nine points adrift of leaders Blantyre United.
Under the reign of caretaker Thom Mkorongo, Civo might not have displayed their fancy one-touch stuff on the pitch, but their more disciplined and direct long ball approach bore fruits with Patrick Gunde and Lawrence Mwehiwa scoring in the 23rd and 26th minutes.
“We did not struggle due to Joseph’s absence. The other players can do the job. We just started slowly. The two goals unsettled us, but we still fancy our title chances. The leading teams can also stumble,” Wanderers’ coach Felix Fosiko suggested in a post-match interview.
But, maybe, deep down his heart the veteran mentor Fosiko admits that his charges lacked midfield leadership. It was hardly surprising when a quick exchange of passes on the counterattack had Gunde slicing the ball into the net.
The second came in a similar fashion; Gunde turning the creator when he chased a long pass, exchanged passes with Mwehiwa who then curled the ball past goalkeeper Richard Chipuwa.
Wanderers response came through Moses Chavula’s powerful free kick which shaved the bar then man-of-the match Emmanuel Zoya whipped Gerald Chimbaka’s goal-bound shot off the goalline.
Civo finally yielded to pressure as Foster Namwela headed in Wanderers’ first goal in stoppage time of the first-half, benefiting from some Civo’s hesitant defending of a right corner kick. Civo goalkeeper Innocent Phiri had punched the ball.
After break, Civo seemed content with the lead, resorting to some defensive shape. Then, Victor punished the visitors with his fierce drive from the edge. Mkolongo, whose charges are seventh on 37 points, was not amused by referee Samuel Mangansanja’s officiation.
In Mzuzu, Ndaona Daisi gave Silver an early second-half lead, but Moyale equalised through Gastin Simkonda’s late spectacular goal.