WANDERERS HUMILIATE ‘BLUNT’ ARROWS TO BOOST CHANCES OF SURVIVAL
Mighty Mufulira Wanderers’ hope of remaining in the FAZ Super Division have been boosted after they thrashed Red Arrows 3-0 in a week 23 encounter played at Nkoloma Stadium on Saturday.
Three first-half goals from Bwalya Chela, Bernard Mapili and Angel Lubambo was enough for Mufulira Wanderers to record their first victory in 2020.
Coach Chisi Mbewe made 4 changes to his starting XI that lost 2-nil to Lusaka Dynamos last weekend resting goalkeeper Ken Mumba, Elvis Bissong, Joseph Zimba and Chrispin Sakulanda who were replaced by Yasin Mugabi, Tressor Tshibwabwa, Jimmy Chisenga, and Daniel Sibanda respectively.
Red Arrows were going into this match hoping to maintain their unbeaten run in the last 3 years against Mufulira Wanderers who last defeated Arrows in June 2017 via a 2-1 scoreline.
On the other hand, Wanderers were going into this match with the only victory in their minds considering the fact that they were running out of time in their top-flight survival battle having been sitting in the relegation zone for the longer part of the season.
Joseph Phiri and James Chamanga combined well upfront coupled with the skillful play from Captain of the side Bruce Musakanya and looked like they were going to be the first team to register a goal.
However, it was Bwalya Chela who opened the floodgates with a beautiful goal just at the half-hour mark after he was left unmarked in the box.
Titima was first called to real duty by Phiri with a low volley after connecting well with a pass from Chamanga but the effort did not trouble Titima who collected easily.
The Airmen made two first-half substitutions resting Francis Simwanza whose place was taken up by Alassane Diarra so that he can help out in the Midfield but still couldn’t find the breaking rhythm.
Arrows suffered a further setback after their striker Joseph Phiri was injured just before the half time break and Coach Chisi Mbewe was made to make a forced change bringing in Alidour Kayembe.
Arrows’ defense was caught napping yet again this time around by Bernard Mapili who rose higher and pounced on a ball with a free header in the 41st minute leaving Arrows goalkeeper Mugabi who was making his debut appearance since joining the Nkoloma based outfit with no chase.
Things turned from bad to worse four minutes later as Wanderers launched a counter-attack coupled with nice interchange of passes on the left flank and after a square cross in the box, it found an unmarked who Angel Lubambo who slotted home a 3rd goal leaving a helpless Mugabi with no chance again just before the half time break to put ‘Abena Milambo’ firmly in control of the match.
Arrows started the second half like a house on fire and the intention was clear that their main aim was to push and find the back of the net. Veteran Daniel Sibanda was replaced by Francisco Mwepu who brought in some firepower upfront for the Airmen.
Arrows resurrected and started piling pressure on the Wanderers defenders with the likes of James Chamanga, Francisco Mwepu and Brownson Chama whose header hit the post coming close to beating Joshua Titima in the Wanderers goal.
Titima was the busier of the two goalkeepers more especially towards the end of the game as he was called to action a number of times but he put up a splendid performance with breathtaking saves including a Chamanga low shot which was headed for goal but was parried away with his fingertips for a corner.
It was not just Arrows day because they created a myriad of chances but couldn’t put any in the back of the net.
After being entertained to an excellent match, referee of the day Audrick Nkole brought the game to an end to confirm that Mufulira Wanderers travel back home with maximum points in their bag recording a sweet away victory.
This victory has pushed Wanderers one step up on 17th Position on the log standings with 14 Points at par with KYSA but only separated on goal difference while Arrows remain on 8th Position with 38 Points.
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