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Nomads’ hopes kept alive as KB crash the Eagles: Airtel Top 8

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Mighty Be Forward Wanderers kept their hopes of maintaining the record of winning inaugural trophies as second-half goals from Jaffalie Chande and Joseph Kamwendo earned them a 2-0 home win Azam Tigers in the Airtel Top 8 Knock-out quarterfinal first leg played at Balaka Stadium on Sunday.

Wanderers players in celebrations Wanderers players in celebrations


After a dull first half, Chande produced a moment of magic to open the scoring in the 75th minute when he headed into the net after connecting Felix Zulu's well taken cross from the right flank.

Enterprising midfielder Joseph Kamwendo then made the win safe with a 82nd minute superb long-range strike.

Nomads' Yamikani Chester (in orange) being chased by Azam players.

Kamwendo, who was also named Man-of-the-Match, dribbled past three Tigers defenders before unleashing a thunder bolt that had to hit the upright before hitting the back of the net.


Azam Tigers, also known as (Aka) Ana Akumpanda, also pushed and pressed for goals, but the Nomads defenders stood firm and ably tamed the visitors attacking machinery.


No where to go: Azam Tigers defender trying to stop a Wanderers palyer.


Both sides treated spectators to a sparkling performance and couldn't unlock each other's defence in the first half.


With a record of winning inaugural cup in the country at the back of their mind, the Nomads looked more composed and aggressive in the second half until Chande and Kamwendo sealed the win for the Lali Lubani boys.


Stanley Sanudi: Was equally a beauty to watch.


Tigers finished the match with ten men after their defender Nickson Mwase was sent for an early shower over violent protests against referee Denis Ngukube for not cautioning Wanderers forward Jabulani Linje when he hit the ball into Tigers net the referee blew for an off side.


The Nomads were forced to make changes when their defenders Lucky Malata and Francis Mlimbika were separately carried off the pitch due to injuries. Malata and Mlimbika were replaced by Foster Namwela and Ted Sumani, respectively.


Wanderers coach Yasin Osman said it was a difficult game, but quickly pat his charges on the back for fighting tooth and nail.


Wanderers' first goal scorer: Jaffalie Chande.


"We knew that it would be a difficult game because there are new faces at Azam Tigers and had something to prove but we saw some loopholes on how they played in the first half and we had to use that opportunity in the second half," Osman.

While Tigers coach Patrick Kulemeka said his boys gave the home side more room to play their game and this cost them the match.


"We gave them too much respect and more room to unleash attacks. Were simply second on the ball and this enabled them to pile more pressure on us and we consequently conceded two goals," said Kulemeka, who expressed optimism of turning the tables in the second leg to be played at Kalulu Stadium in Nchalo, Chikwawa on Saturday.


Elsewhere, Kamuzu Barracks (KB) beat Blue Eagles 4-2 at the Civo Stadium to equally move closer to the semifinals of the tournament.


Joseph Kamwendo in bycycle kick.


KB netted Diof Simaone, Ndaona Daisi, Manase Chiyesa and Kelvin Hanganda while the Malawi Police side grabbed the two vital away goals through Mphatso Philimon and Dio Banda.


On Saturday, Silver Strikers beat Nyasa Big Bullets 0-1 at Bingu National Stadium while Mafco lost 0-2 to Moyale Barracks at Chitowe Stadium in Dwangwa, Nkhotakota.


Kamwendo receiving man-of-the-match trophy.


The return matches will be played this coming week. Tigers will host the Nomads at Kalulu Stadium in Nchalo; Moyale Barracks and Mafco FC will face off at Mzuzu Stadium; Blue Eagles and KB will play at Nankhaka Stadium in Lilongwe with Nyasa Big Bullets hosting Silver Strikers at the Zomba Community Ground.

The draw for the semifinals will be conducted immediately after the Bullets - Silver match in Zomba.

Wanderers players in celebrations.


The champions will pocket K15 million; top goal scorer and player of the tournament will pocket K500,000 each. Man of the match of each game is pocketing K50,000.


Following are Airtel Top 8 quarterfinal return fixtures;

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Azam Tigers vs Be Forward Wanderers at Kalulu Stadium
Moyale Barracks vs Mafco FC at Mzuzu Stadium
Blue Eagles vs Kamuzu Barracks

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Nyasa Big Bullets vs Silver Strikers at Zomba Community Centre ground

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