Red Lions and Dedza Dynamos will wait for their last games to confirm their participation in the 2022 Airtel Top 8 Cup following their goalless stalemate in tnm Super league at Balaka Stadium on Sunday.
In their quest to secure the top 8 slot, both teams came into the game to amass maximum points, but it turned futile as both of them did their preparation thoroughly especially defensively.
Dedza Dynamos beat Sable Farming in their previous game while Red Lions edge out their brothers in arm, Moyale Barracks.
Coming into the game, Dedza Dynamos who sit 7th on the table had 18 points and a win would cement their place in the top 8 while Red Lions who are 9th on the table, a win would take them to the top 8 and boost their chances of participating in the fifth edition of the Airtel Top 8.
Both teams had scoring opportunities but they failed to utilise it as both goalkeepers were very alert.
Charles Chipala would drove Dedza Dynamos supporters into weird by giving them an early lead in the 3rd minute as he was spotted by Clement Kamwendo inside the penalty area but his shot flew over the bar.
Red Lions came early to break the deadlock through Mathews Simbeye after beating Dedza’s goalkeeper but defender Mathews Salirana cleared the ball just before the line just after the half-hour mark.
Dynamos Coach, Dan Dzimkambani wanted to increase his attacking depth by introducing Hudson Milanzi for former Wanderers midfielder, Ibrahim Sadik in the 60th minute.
Milanzi just after his introduction could have scored by his thunderous shot was parred by Red Lions’ goalkeeper, Clement Mlomba.
Nelson Chirwa, Coach for Zomba-based soldiers made a change by introducing a pacey player, Andrew Biyo for Paul Kansungwi.
Both teams tried to attack to find a crucial goal but both goalkeeper Donnex Mwakasinga and Clement Mlombwa denied their efforts and it ended in a stalemate.
Dedza Dynamos remain on number 7 with 19 points, while Red Lions are on number 9 with 17 points from the same number of games.
Both Dedza and Lions will wrap up their first round next week against Civo Service United and Kamuzu Barracks respectively.
Coach for Dedza Dynamos Dan Dzimkambani said it was a difficult game.
“It was a difficult game, we dominated the game and we would have scored more goals maybe 2 or 4 but credit to their goalkeeper. It was a physical game but the referee perhaps failed to control it,” said Dzimkambani.
Dzimkambani further added that they will do everything for his team to secure a place in the top 8 by the end of the first round.
His counterpart, Nelson Chirwa was satisfied with the point.
“It was a good game, finding a point it’s not bad. Clement was alert and he kept us in the game,” said Chirwa.
Chirwa added that a top 8 slot is open for them and they will consider their last game against Kamuzu Barracks as a cup final.
In Rumphi, Mathias Nyirenda and Zeliati Nkhoma scored one each for Kamuzu Barracks as they beat the Leopards by two goals to nill.
Rumphi United who are the debutants in the League are winless in their last five games and they remain slammed at the bottom of the table with 9 points from 14 games. They will wrap up their first round with a crucial clash against the Lions of Kaning’ina, Moyale Barracks.
The victory takes the Venom, Kamuzu Barracks to 23 points and they remain 5th on the table.
They have will dislodge Silver Strikers who have 26 points from the fourth spot should they beat Red Lions in their final game.