Written by LEONARD SHARRA
Silver Strikers FC Sunday, September 02, 2012 wrapped up the TNM Super League first round in grand style, white-washing Mafco FC 5-0 in a one-sided TNM Super League affair played at Silver Stadium in Lilongwe.
As the Salima based soldiers sang blues at Silver, their senior brothers in arms Red Lions were being interrogated by cops Blue Eagles at Balaka Stadium, where their unbeaten record came to a half after crashing 3-0 against the side from Police Headquarters.
Elia Kabingu, Ben Hojani and Charles Ngosi were the men on target for Blue Eagles, who went onto the field at Balaka as underdogs but did the unexpected.
At Silver, Rodrick Gonani opened the flood gates 11 minutes into the game after intercepting a poor back pass by Mafco defender Paul Njobvu to beat advancing goalkeeper Dyson Isaac.
The soccer instructors, as Mafco is fondly called by suffered a blow in the 18th minute, when referee Duncan Lengani gave their captain and marksman Zasha Mnong’onezya marching orders after he had fouled Silver’s Jester Mulima.
Two minutes after the incident, Green Harawa made it 2-0 for the home team after picking a rebound from a Ndaziona Chilemba attempt, which was fumbled by Isaac. The visitors trailed 2-0 at half time but the worst was yet to come. Harvey Nkacha made it 3-0 for Silver eight minutes into the second half after heading in a corner kick taken by Mulima before Gonani claimed a brace for himself 12 minutes from time.
Nkacha, who was named man of the match sealed the last nail on the soldiers’ coffin with the fifth goal after 82 minutes.
Mafco’s coach Stereo Gondwe refused to concede defeat after the final whistle, accusing the Lilongwe referees of biasness against his side:
“We were demoralized by poor officiation. Zasha’s foul warranted a yellow card and not a red card and the goal by Green Harawa was scored from an off-side position,” said a fuming Gondwe after the game.
His counterpart Thom Nkorongo said he was happy to finish the first round on a high note. “It’s good we have finished on a high note. This gives us a chance of topping the first round but we have to wait and see how Red Lions perform in their last two games of the first round.
With the win, the bankers have wrapped up the first round on 31 points and still top the league’s standings. Red Lions are still second with 27 points from 12 games and can top the first round standings if they win their last two fixtures against Moyale Barracks and Mafco.