History has it that Wanderers struggle to get a win over Mzuzu Warriors, formerly Mzuni FC, and it was the same on Sunday when the Warriors held the visitors to a one-all draw at Mzuzu Stadium.
Just two minutes from kick off, the visitors broke through and new Ghanaian signing Mike Tete had his thunderous shot denied into the net by the cross bar before efforts by Felix Zulu and Babatunde Adepoju also hit the woodwork in succession.
The Warriors took a lead in the 14th minute. They got a free kick a metre away from the 18 metre box on the left and Steve Madimba brilliantly took it low below Wanderers defending feet and goalkeeper William Thole failed to tame the shot from the near post as he anticipated a far post cheap.
The host guarded their slender lead jealously throughout the first half.
In the second half, Wanderers came flat out attacking wave after wave. Mike Tete was pulled out for Peter Wadabwa 9 minutes into the second half.
In the 54th minute, a corner kick floated from the right was headed into Mzuzu Warriors net by defender Ted Sumani. 1-1.
The nomads kept on piling pressure on the hosts with an aim of registering the first win of the season. Babatunde Adepoju beat goalkeeper Pilirani Mapira in the 17th minute but defender Temwa Msowoya cleared the piece of leather off the goal line for a corner. The corner allowed Peter Cholopi to head the ball strongly towards Mzuzu Warriors goal mouth but Pilirani Mapira was alert to save the situation.
The nomads worked very hard, attacking fiercely throughout the second half but they could never get a winning goal.
Speaking after the match, Wanderers head coach Bob Mpinganjira said the pitch denied Wanderers their usual play.
“My players played very well. It’s unfortunate that we didn’t get enough goals to win the game. I think the pitch was too much of a problem. We are used to playing on the artificial turf in Blantyre but this ground was very bumpy and we couldn’t play our usual game,” remarked Mpinganjira.
Mzuzu Warrriors coach, Gilbert Chirwa, said Wanderers were gifted a goal by the referee.
“We denied Wanderers to play their game. We scored earlier but I strongly believe Wanderers were given a goal. They fouled our goalkeeper to score that goal. I am happy that my boys fought very hard and we hope to do even better in the forthcoming games,” explained Chirwa.
FAM Representative at the match, Robert Mziza, said he was disappointed with the behaviour of supporters amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“People invaded the pitch. Supporters have gone to the dressing room after the match. FAM and SULOM spent a lot to have players and officials tested for COVID-19 but supporters are getting close to players. I think we need to sit down and review what has transpired in the first week of this season” remarked Mziza.
Three Wanderers fans went into the pitch at half time and stepped into the goal area that was being defended by Mzuzu Warriors in the first half.
On Saturday, Kamuzu Barracks officials and supporters seating on the VIP Stand were heard insulting referee Mike Misinjo who officiated a match which they won 1 nil against Ekwendeni Hammers. When Mziza tried to caution them, they cursed him using all sorts of foul language.
Wanderers is now on position 10 with a single point from a single game while Mzuzu Warriors are on position 7, also with a single point from a single game.