THERE was a late show of brilliance for Moyale Barracks in Mzuzu Saturday as they needed an extra time Gastin Simukonda free kick to salvage a point against TNM Super League defending champi¬ons Silver Strikers.
After giving the sky-blues of Lilongwe some scares for the greater part of the game, the Lions of Kaning'ina con-ceded a headed goal in the 67th minute in circumstances that could well be described as controversial.
A ball was whipped from a corner and as Moyale goalie McDonald Harawa leapt to catch it, a Silver player blocked him and in the process injured him in the eye. Ndaziona Chatsalira had the easiest task of heading home.
Harawa received treatment on his eye for about five minutes as his teammates protested the goal in vain.
The soldiers piled the pressure on the defending champions, and Silver lived dangerously for the entire five minutes of added time – most of the attacks coming from Simukonda.
Moyale won a free kick just outside the 18-yard box three minutes into added time. Simukonda stepped up and stabbed the ball straight into the net, sending the spectators into wild jubilation. Both Silver goalkeeper Charles Swini and the players that formed a defensive wall in front of him stood motionless.
With Simukonda running things up front and veteran defender-cum-midfielder Lameck Thindwa operating from a deep midfield role, Moyale were always a scare for
the defending champions.
Silver on the other hand were shadows of themselves, with their star player Frank Banda being the most outdone.
Simukonda rattled the up¬right with Swini beaten clean following a 25-minute counter attack that led to the striker being released clear off the Silver backline.
The draw means Silver have failed to move to within one point of leaders Blantyre United. Silver still lie second with 45 points four below the leaders. But Silver have played 22 games, three less than United. On the other hand Moyale have 37 points from 26 games.
Silver coach Franco Ndawa blamed his charges for loosening up in the dying minutes, promis¬ing that his charges will tighten the screws against Kabwafu United this afternoon.
Kabwafu have been unpredictable at Mzuzu stadium and hammered Epac United at a time when the Lilongwe side was enjoying a rich vein of form.
In another interesting match, Mighty Wanderers began life without influentional midfielder Joseph Kamwendo on a slow note when they came from two goals down to force a 2-all draw against Civo United in a thrilling TNM Super League encounter at the Kamuzu Stadium.
Wanderers clearly missed the services of Kamwendo as they hardly passed the ball.
Civo drew first blood through Patrick Gunde, who latched onto a Lawrence Mwehiwa cross in the 23rd minute. Gunde's connection took a deflection to mislead Wanderers goalminder Richard Chipuwa.
Two minutes later, Mwe¬hiwa increased the margin with a beautifully struck goal that hit the upper right post before sailing into the net.
The second goal confused Wanderers players as they struggled to contain Civo and the Lali Lubani Road outfit was forced to make a first-half substitution, replacing ineffective Innocent Jere with Gerald Chimbaka.
Wanderers' skipper Foster Namwera reduced the arrears a minute into added time when he headed home a swerving corner from Mike Kaziputa.
After resumption, Wanderers kept pushing for an equaliser and they were dully paid through a Victor Mpinganjira volley that sailed beyond outstretched Civo goalminder, Innocent Phiri, in the 73rd minute.