Karonga United’s recent run of poor results came to an end on Sunday after edging out fellow relegation threatened Red Lions 3-2 in an entertaining TNM Super League match played at the Karonga Stadium.
The encounter which was built as a must win game for both sides due to their precarious positions on the log table was settled in a 5 goal fest first half.
Goals from Mphatso Kamanga, Sherrif Shamama and Gabadinho Daud proved decisive in earning Karonga all the three points while Red Lions found the back of the net through a brace from Brown Gondwe.
The encounter played in front of a sizable partisan home faithful saw the hosts go behind in the 5th minute of the game as the visitors scored with their first attempt at goal as the impressive Gondwe finished off a counter attack after the hosts had surrendered the ball in midfield.
However the lead only lasted seconds as Karonga from the restart equalized as Kamanga headed in Richard Mbuna’s flighted right-wing cross.
The hosts deservedly went in front in the 19th minute as Shamama tapped in from a goal-mouth scramble from a corner.
Mbuna, Shamama and Josia Duwa soon went close to extending the home side’s advantage but chance after chance was squandered by the hosts.
The home side were made to rue their profligacy in front of goal as Gondwe grabbed his brace as he capitalized on a defensive mix up to pull his side level in the 38th minute.
However in a crazy first half Karonga United went back in front a minute before half time as the unlikely Daud lashed in Shamama’s cross.
In the second half the hosts continued their first half dominance as they controlled the lion share of possession as the Zomba based Soldier outfit were forced playing long balls which the Karonga defense dealt with it comfortably as they closed out the match for a vital win.
Meanwhile the victory lifted Karonga two steps up on the log table to 11th on 31 points from 27 matches 7 points clear from the relegation zone while the defeat left Red lions sweating for their spot in the elite league on 28 points with two matches remaining.
In a post-match interview Karonga United coach Christopher Nyambose, express delight in ending the winless run.
“The win was well deserved today as we were the much better side throughout the 90 minutes hence I hail my players for a job well done,” said Nyambose.
Never the less his counterpart Mike Kamanga, admitted his lads were outclassed by their more hungry and energetic opponents.