By Antony Isaiah Jr
The wait for his first maximum points with Mighty Mukuru Wanderers for Alex Ngwira is over as he has registered his first victory at Kamuzu Stadium as Wanderers survive Silver Strikers’ fright.
The Former Chitipa United Coach was roped in in the middle of the second half of the 2022 season but he had to wait for his first victory as he played two games against Nyasa Big Bullets and Dedza Dynamos where he registered classic comebacks to force games into stalemates.
He registered two victories in the FDH Bank against Dedza Dynamos, and Kamuzu Barracks with a combined scoreline of 7-1.
Ngwira made two changes from the team that played a 2-all stalemate against Dedza Dynamos at Dedza Stadium seven days ago as Yamikani Chester and Muhammad Sulumba started in place of Vincent Nyangulu and Felix Zulu.
Silver Strikers interim Coach, Macdonald Yobe and Leo Mpulura named unfamiliar starting Xi as Duncan Nyoni, Blessings Tembo, Stain Davie, Nickson Mwase were all absent in the team while Charles Chisale, Hardy Ng’andu, Uchizi Vunga were in the starting team.
Silver started on the front foot as they were looking for an early opener but their effort could not pay off.
Chawanangwa Kaonga raced against Stanley Sanudi on the left and he got better of him before the Nomads’ Captain brought him down for a free kick for the Bankers on the far side.
Zebron Kalima whirled it but Silver Strikers failed to utilise the early chance as Gasten Phodo’s header climbed over the bar.
Mighty Wanderers waked up from their slumber, and pressure started to mount on the Silver Strikers defence.
Yamikani Chester, Isaac Kaliati, Vitumbiko Kumwenda, Francis Mkonda took over the proceedings in yhe midfield, trimming the Bankers’ midfield and they were struggling to get out of their own half.
A precious Chance landed on to the feet of Muhammad Sulumba when defender Hardy Ng’andu failed to cut the ball from Balakasi. Sulumba was very late as Tatenda M’balaka arrived at the situation to take the ball off his feet.
Sulumba repented his sins in the 7th minute when he scored a belter. It started with pacey Yamikani Chester who won the ball on his half, running into the opposite half before exchanging brilliant passes with Vitumbiko Kumwenda, Francis Mkonda, Yamikani Chester. Peter Cholopi spotted Sulumba unmarked in the box, the former Nyasa Big Bullets forward chested the ball before unleashing a thunderbolt into the roof of the net to send Kamuzu Stadium into ruptures.
The Nomads came nearly to extend their lead when they launched a counter-attack through the left flank and Misheck Botomani was in possession before laying off to Usaac Kaliyati in his company on the left. He swung a cross but there was not an orange shirt at the far side.
Silver Strikers Coach, made an early change as he pulled out Maxwell Phodo for Duncan Nyoni to fix the problem of disjointing between the midfield and the offensive players.
Silver lacked creativity and dominance in the midfield where former Mighty Mukuru Wanderers player, Chikondi Kamanga, Uchizi Vunga, Levison Maganizo were playing.
The midfielders were not ticking, sitting back creating a long gap between the Chawanangwa who was an isolated striker and the midfield players, making ut very easy for Gabeya and Peter Cholopi to put Kaonga who has 11 goals this season in their bag.
In the second half, Silver monopolized the game as Chawanangwa Kaonga, Duncan Nyoni, Chikondi Kamanga were igniting fire for the Bankers.
Chawanangwa Kaonga left the ball to Duncan Nyoni on his right side and he collided with Joseph Balakasi in the penalty area. Silver Appealed for the penalty but Evidence Kananji turned a deaf ears to the call.
Stain Davie was introduced just seven minutes from the restart when replaced Uchizi Vunga in the 52nd minute as Silver were desperate for an equaliser after a run of good results in their recent games.
Ngwira made his first change when he brought in Felix Zulu for Vitumbiko Kumwenda in the midfield and Mpinganjira was also thrown in for Yamikani Chester.
The pressure that the Bankers pilled in the last 45 minutes was not enough to level the scores at Kamuzu Stadium.
The victory takes Mighty Wanderers to 5th place with 37 points, from 20 games dislodging Silver Strikers who have slipped to 6th place but they are level on points.
Alex Ngwira attributed the victory to hard working from his players.
“My boys are working hard. It was a game of two halves, in the first half we controlled the game but we were second on the ball in the second half,” said Ngwira.
Macdonald Yobe, assistant coach for Silver Strikers said his boys were blunt.
“We had a good game though we failed to score goals. We had a lot of possession but we failed to convert chances,” said Yobe.
Miraculous defending skills from Miracle
After being axed by Kalisto Pasuwa from Nyasa Big Bullets earlier this season after misunderstandings on their contract terms.
He later joined their cross-town rivals, Mighty Wanderers where he has planted himself as the pillars for the Nomads at the back.
Facing a tough time with pacey and skillful forwards, like Chawanangwa Kaonga and Zebron Kalima, the 27-year-old managed to withstand their skills.
He made good blocks, stopping the attacks for the Bankers from all cylinders
Made an outstanding block in the first half when he stopped in the 28th minute when Silver were at the thick of things through Duncan Nyoni on the right flank. Gabeya displayed himself on the ground to block the threat.
He also rescued Mighty Wanderers towards the end of the first half when again on the right flank where Balakasi was operating from. Phodo layed Balakasi on the artificial but his attempt to spot Chawanangwa in the box was cut by Gabeya.
He also made tremendous efforts in the second half, keeping Silver Strikers forward players at bay despite all the attacks that the visitors were having towards the end of the game.
Silver costed by shaky defence
A new pair of defence was named by McDonald Yobe as Chisomo Mpachika and Hardy Ng’and formed a pair in the heart of defence in place of the familiar pair of Maxwell Pipe and Nickson Mwase.
The pair failed to coordinate as their poor positioning and sensitivity costed the area 47 based side.
A horror mistake by Hardy Ng’andu just after 5 minutes from the first whistle could have costed them, thanks to Tatenda M’balaka who arrived to rescue the team as he stole the ball off Muhammad Sulumba.
They failed to sense the position of Muhammad Sulumba on his 7th minute strike. Both Mpachika and Ng’andu moved to the left side of the defence, leaving the lethal forward unmarked at the back and he immediately punished them for their mistakes at the back.