Written by LEONARD SHARRA
LILONGWE--Mighty ‘Nyerere’ Wanderers on Saturday, October 6, 2012 lifted the K20 Million Standard Bank Cup after silencing Silver Strikers 2-0 in an exciting final match played before a huge crowd at Silver Stadium in Lilongwe.
Considered hot favourites before the match at their own backyard, the bankers failed to live to expectations as they were outplayed by the visitors in most departments to the disbelief of their faithful.
The bankers had an opportunity to go top in the 34th minute when referee Denis Ngulube awarded them a penalty after Wanderers’ defender Francis Mlimbika had handled the ball in a ball-to-hand situation. But in-form Wanderers’ goalkeeper Richard Chipuwa saved Mustafa Salimu’s poorly taken spot kick.
Youthful Victor Mpinganjira put the Nomads on the winning trail five minutes to the break, when he tapped in a loss ball from a rebound after a Joseph Kamwendo strike. Kamwendo’s poorly taken free kick had been blocked by a Silver defender before his second attempt was half-cleared by a Silver defender. Mpinganjira quickly stepped in into the box to ram the ball home.
Both sides made changes in the second half with Silver bringing in Green Harawa and Tonny Chitsulo for Davie Moya and Harvey Nkacha. The Nomads also brought in Cuthbert Sinetre, Moses Chavula and Allan Kamanga for Innocent Dzimbili, Gerald Phiri Junior and Mpinganjira. In one of his first touches, Chavula was on target for the Nomads’ second as his simple header went through the legs of Silver goalkeeper Amadu Ali into the net.
Silver’s mentor Franco Ndawa was speechless after the game as he kept answering ‘That’s part of football’ after being quizzed by reporters. His opposite number Felix Fosco saluted his charges for playing according to instructions.
Fosco said his strategy was to close down all gaps and deny Silver’s match makers like Rodrick Gonani and Ndaziona Chatsalira a chance to play around with the ball. For winning the cup, the Nomads got K7 Million whole the losing finalists received K3 Million.