The battle for finishing on the second place in the 2022 tnm Super League intensify this weekend as Mighty Mukuru Wanderers visit Blue Eagles Football Club on Saturday afternoon.
Only three points separate the two sides as the Blantyre based giants are on number four with 50 points from 25 games while the Cops are on number two with 53 points from 26 games.
Trailing behind the leaders, Nyasa Big Bullets with 8 points and 11 points, Blue Eagles and Mighty Mukuru Wanderers respect have given up on the title saying it is beyond their reach.
After the game against Dedza Dynamos, Blue Eagles Coach, Eliya Kananji admitted that dropping points in their recent games costed them the fight for the Championship.
Eagles who were at one point leading the table, saw the defending Champions, Kalisto Pasuwa’s boys overtaking them after back to back draws against Civil Service United, Kamuzu Barracks, Mighty Mukuru Wanderers, Ekwendeni Hammers followed by a defeat to TN Stars.
“We need to he cooperative to fight for the top 4 as you know that we were given the target to finish in top 4 to play in the Caf Champions League. The draws and the losses that we had in our previous games have pulled us out of the race and we are just fighting for the second position and that’s what we are doing,” said Kananji after a 4-0 victory over Dedza Dynamos Salima Sugar Football Club.
But before Kananji announced their target to finish on second it, first was Mighty Mukuru Wanderers’ Alex Ngwira who said they are only looking to seal their place on number two.
“Let me be clear here, our only target is to finish as the runners up. We cannot challenge for the title right now. We have 7 games to go and we just need to continue with this play, win our games and achieve our target,” said Ngwira after thumping Rumphi United 10-0 at Kamuzu Stadium.
Though the victory will not render the winners a second place but will give them an advantage with only 3 and 4 games to go before the season is wrapped up.
If Mighty Mukuru Wanderers manage to collect maximum points over Eagles, they will go second with 53 points, level with Eagles but their goal difference will give them an advantage while praying for Kamuzu Baracks to lose to Silver Strikers at Kasungu Stadium on Sunday.
A win for Eagles, will give them a big edge towards their target as they will have 56 points, closing the gap with Nyasa Big Bullets who play against Mafco on Sunday to just five but with two games more.
Starting with the home side, Eagles have had poor run of results until they produced a blistering performance to dismantle Dedza Dynamos Salima Sugar Football Club last week at Nankhaka ground.
The Area 30-based Cops had played three games without a win, losing to Ekwendeni Hammers and Kamuzu Barracks and drawing twice [Against Nyasa Big Bullets].
A big win against Dedza was a relief and it was bouncing back to the winning ways in style and Kananji was happy with it.
“We have been missing this victory and since our 4-1 victory over Red Lions we have never managed to score such goals. We are happy that we have scored four goals and also three points,” said Kananji.
Interestingly, Eagles are yet to lose at home this season.
On the other hand, Mighty Mukuru Wanderers have been one of the teams that are enjoying a reach vein of form in the second round, playing 10 games without a defeat.
They started their second round journey with a 2-0 win against TN Stars, before playing three consecutive draws against Mighty Tigers, Dedza Dynamos and Nyasa Big Bullets. They also played a goalless draw against Kamuzu Barracks.
They have managed to best five teams more, Silver Strikers, Mafco, Rumphi United, Ekwendeni Hammers, and Karonga United, a performance that has dragged them to the contention of fighting for the second place.
HEAD TO HEAD
This is one of the interesting fixtures in the tnm Super League as no team have managed to dominate it.
In their last 34 meetings in all competitions, Wanderers have managed to win 14 fixtures with Eagles managing to get better of Wanderers 12 times while the rest meetings have been ending in stalemate.
Blue Eagles needed to beat Mighty Wanderers last season to survive in the league as they were at risk of being relegated from the league. Chifuniro Mpinganjira and Gilbert Chirwa were on target for the Eagles while Vincent Nyangulu was on scoresheet for the Nomads.
Mighty Mukuru Wanderers since their 3-0 win over the Cops in 2018, they have gone six games without getting maximum points over Eagles.
In 2019, Eagles slashed Nomads by three goals to one at Kamuzu Stadium with Maxwell Salambula, Gregory Nachipo and Schumacker Kuwali on target while Misheck Botomani had a consolation goal for the Nomads.
The two teams played a 1-all stalemate in Bingu Ikhome Bonanza before Eagles again beat Wanderers at Nankhaka ground by two goals to nill, thanks to Schumacker Kuwali and Foster Bitton who netted in that game.