Former Mighty Wanderers sweeper Harry Nyirenda on Sunday scored a vital goal for newly promoted TNM Super League side Ekwendeni Hammers in a strength testing match that saw the side winning by a goal to nil against established Mzuzu Warriors.
The Warriors, formerly Mzuni FC, could score first just four minutes into the game but Taniel Mhango, alone in front of the goal with only the goalkeeper to beat, gifted the ball through a weak shot to Ekwendeni Hammers goalkeeper Chakonda Majanga.
The game was scrappy throughout the entire first half with very little to write about except for a powerful shot by Mabuchi Msiska for Ekwendeni Hammers which was cleared off the goal line by defender Brian Mhone for Mzuzu Warriors.
In the second half, Mzuzu Warriors looked more organised as they managed to exchange beautiful passes from one player to another as they often built up attacks but lacked the killer punch.
Steve Madimba’s thunderous free kick in the 60th minute was commendably dealt with by Hammers’ goalkeeper Chakonda Majanga as he punched the ball over the cross bar.
A minute before full time, veteran Harry Nyirenda who was playing as the last man in the line of Ekwendeni Hammers defence, connected a corner kick by Brian Phiri with a strong header which goalkeeper Pilirani Mapira failed to tame. It ended Mzuzu Warriors 0 and Ekwendeni Hammers 1.
Speaking after the match, Mzuzu Warriors coach, Gilbert Chirwa, said it was a close encounter and his charges played good football despite the loss.
“Well, we have a team and we are ready the super league this season. We saw good football from our side and our opponents scored at the very end,” said Chirwa.
The winning coach, Etson Kadenge Mwafulirwa, said he was satisfied with the way his charges approached the game.
“My players were afraid of injuries in this game as they prepare for their very first match in the super league. I am impressed with the way we played. I can say we are 90% prepared for the top flight league and I hope next weekend we will do well,” explained Mwafulirwa.
The Hammers have won all their three strength testing matches before their debut top flight league match next weekend. They beat Moyale Barracks 2-1 and Karonga United 2-0 before the 1 nil victory on Sunday.