2024-06-13

Rapson’s delicious strike gives Eagles an advantage of cementing second place

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By Antony Isaiah Jr……..

Richard Rapson’s excellent second half strike was enough for the 10-man Blue Eagles to collect maximum points over Mighty Mukuru Wanderers at Nankhaka ground on Saturday afternoon.

The victory heaves Blue Eagles’ total pickings to 56 from 27 games and they are 6 points above the Blantyre giants, Mighty Mukuru Wanderers who remain on number 4 with 50 points from 26 games.

This means that the Policemen are edging closer to cementing their grip of finishing second in the 2022 tnm Super League.

Fresh from a 4-0 victory over Dedza Dynamos Salima Sugar Football Club, Eliya Kananji made only one change as Micium Mhone was relegated to the bench for Trouble Banda.

Eagles were looking for an early goal as they were putting the Nomads’ defence under panic.

Eagles towering midfielder, Gilbert Chirwa had a shot palmed away by Piliran Mapira in the 6th minute before Miracle Gabeya Miraculously stopped Gaddie Chirwa who was looming closer to the goal-area.

Mighty Mukuru Wanderers launched their first urgent attack after 30 minutes but Sankhani Mkandawire who was a rock at the back stopped Muhhamad Sulumba on the edge of the box before Easter Zimba awarded a free-kick to the visitors.

Isaac Kaliati who is a set-piece specialist at Wanderers, pinged the ball but Brighton Munthali wonderfully reflexed out to save it away repudiating the Nomads from hitting the roof of the net.

Former TN Stats full back, Iyani Chinyama twice tested Piliran Mapira but he couldn’t hit the target before Ahamadu Kung’unde made a kindergarten mistake that gifted Paul Master with a glorious chance but with goal gapping, the midfielder put his ball wide.

Macdonald Lameck lost the ball to Mpinganjira who spotted Yamikani Chester and the pacey attacker slotted the ball past Eagles goal-mouth, begging while Muhhamad Sulumba was out of his position.

In the second half, Micium Mhone had an immediate impact, some minutes after supplanting Trouble Banda as he provided an assist to Richard Rapson.

Schumacker Kuwali went past Wanderers’ players and teeing up Mhone and the substitute unselfishly specked the former Wanderers’ player who put it beyond Mapira’s reach to send Eagles’ into ruptures.

Alfred Manyozo and Stanley Sanudi were thrown in for Joseph Balakasi and Felix Zulu as Nomads were hunting for a goal but the tempo of the game could not rose up.

Blue Eagles were ameliorated to 10 men after Macdonald Lameck was sent off after receiving two yellow cards but Alex Ngwira’s men failed to utilise the number advantage.

Alfred Manyozo virtually equalised for the visitors but he missed with the goal gapping after Iyani Chinyama had cleared the dangerous corner-kick before Brighton Munthali denied Yamikani Chester from scoring.

Sankhani Mkandawire cleared the ball before crossing the line to keep Eagles with a 1-0 boon before Easter Zimba turned deaf ears as Wanderers bench and supporters were claiming for a penalty after judging Eagles’ defender to have handed the ball inside the 18-yard area.

𝐀𝐥𝐞𝐱’𝐬 𝐭𝐚𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐜𝐬 𝐡𝐚𝐮𝐧𝐭𝐬 𝐍𝐨𝐦𝐚𝐝𝐬

Questionable tactics that Mighty Mukuru Wanderers Head Coach, Alex Ngwira opted at Nankhaka ground has haunted the team as Blue Eagles beat them on Saturday afternoon.

The Coach opted for a back-three system but the players used in a game were not suiting to the system.

Miracle Gabeya was the only Centre back that was at the back for Nomads, assisted by Joseph Balakasi and Ahamadu Kung’unde with Wisdom Mpinganjira and Isaac Kaliati as wing-backs.

This created a number of holes through the Policemen were using to penetrate and opening up the defence for the Nomads.

He used the same tactics in their previous games [Against Ekwendeni Hammers, Karonga United] that they won but it could not work against a well organised team, Blue Eagles who have players who are technically good.

It would have been an embarrassment for the Nomads, thanks to Miracle Gabeya who was making Miraculous defending skills to stop the angry Eagles to score more goals.

With Rapson, Schumacker Kuwali, Gaddie Chirwa, Trouble Banda who are all pacey, Mighty Mukuru Wanderers’ midfield could open up frequently putting the defence that had more gaps under pressure.

Miracle Gabeya laid himself on the grass to deny Gaddie Chirwa from hitting the back of the net before blocking Richard Rapson’s shot.

The coming in of Stanley Sanudi saw Ahamadu Kung’unde shifting his position to left back and the system remained 3 men at the back.

Despite having some gaps at the back, the Nomads were second on the ball, and the midfield could not up the intensity of the game and they failed to create enough for Muhhamad Sulumba who is hunting for his first league Golden Boot.

𝐖𝐚𝐧𝐝𝐞𝐫𝐞𝐫𝐬 𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐥𝐥 𝐬𝐭𝐫𝐮𝐠𝐠𝐥𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐨 𝐛𝐞𝐚𝐭 𝐄𝐚𝐠𝐥𝐞𝐬

In their last 34 meetings in all competitions, Wanderers have managed to win 14 fixtures with Eagles managing to get better of Wanderers 13 times while the rest meetings have been ending in stalemate but Eagles have been a better team in their last seven meetings.

The Eagles have won four games while three games ended in stalemate.

Mighty Mukuru Wanderers last beat Eagles back in 2018 when they recorded a 3-0 win, they have gone seven games without getting maximum points over Eagles.

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.

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 in the tnm SuperLeague, thanks to Schumacker Kuwali and Foster Bitton who netted in that game.

Last season, Gaddie Chirwa netted a brace while Peter Wadabwa and Babatunde Adepojou were on target for Wanderers in a game that ended 2-all.

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