Malawi Football team of students living in the Taiwan Strait on Saturday successfully cemented their supremacy over archrivals and continental brothers, Eswatini FC by whacking them 4-2 in a thrilling encounter played at National Dong Hwa University ground.
From the word go, the Malawi team made a statement of intent to win the game by piling pressure on the Eswatini stars as they came wave after wave in pursuit of an early goal. Just 10 minutes into the game Malawi opened the score sheet through Atupele Msongole who saw his thunder shot deflected into the net after hitting Eswatini defender Colan.
A few minutes before recovering from the shock, a well-taken corner kick by Msongole saw the Captain of the side Njambuliso conceding an own goal, sending the Malawi fans into wild celebration.
The Flames looked dangerous and composed as Joe Zonda, Chisomo, Maneno Chimulala and Griffin Nsefula formed a solid defence which was hard for the Eswatin attackers to penetrate as Bright Malemia and Innocent kept the flanks boiling. But a first-class exchange of passes by Eswatin trio of Dominic Tembe, Kidwel and talisman Lwazi outshined both Malawi’s midfield and defence which left the goalkeeper helpless and Lwazi made no mistake but to hit the back of the net to make it 2-1.
The goal was an energizer on the part of the Eswatini boys. They continued pilling pressure, reducing their counterpart to mere spectators as they searched for an equalizer. Sensing danger, talisman Jones Katunga quickly retreated to ease the pressure at the center where the opponents looked dangerous.
Just before the break, Katunga collected a through ball and immediately took a powerful shot into the net, beating goalkeeper Desmond, who was definitely not equal to the task assigned by the ruthless striker. 3-1, the first half ended.
In the second half both sides started on a high note, but it was Eswatin that looked more dangerous as they seemed to have found their footing following the introduction of central midfielder Sam. But their hardworking paid dividends midway into the game through their matchmaker Lwazi.
Malawi made a tactical change by introducing Benson Munyenyembe for Katunga who was playing with an injury. The combination of Munyenyembe and Richard Kammayani in front was a thorn in Eswatini’s defence.
The Eswatin boys tried to push for a draw but Kammayani hammered the last nail on their coffin in the 30th minute sending the Eswatin players and their handful of supporters into a cathedral of silence.
After the game, Captain Joe Zonda was on cloud nine because it was their second victory. He commended the players’ strong sense of discipline and proper preparations.
Colan, his opposite number, accepted the loss but quickly added that Malawi’s honeymoon would not last long because they would be ready to turn the tables in the following match.