Moyale Barracks Football Club, fondly called The Lions of Kaning'ina, has wound up the first round of the 2021 TNM Super League season on position four with 24 points after beating Karonga United 2-0 on Sunday at Mzuzu Stadium.
The Mzuzu soldiers started the season on a bad note and at one point they anchored the log table, a situation that worried all the followers of the club.
But coach Prichard Mwansa made sure the team moved up the ladder slowly but surely and as they wound the first round, they had registered six consecutive wins.
The road to position four started with a 1- nil win at home against BeForward Wanderers, followed by another 3-2 home win against Ekwendeni Hammers. Then the soldiers travelled to Lilongwe where they defeated their brothers in arms, Kamuzu Barracks, 0-1 before returning home to pounce on Mzuzu Warriors with the same margin.
Then they travelled again to Blantyre to face another military side Red Lions in a match which they won 0-2. The Lions of Kaning'ina finished the job on Sunday when they devoured Karonga United with the same 2-0 margin.
The Kaning'ina Lions were on fire on Sunday against the Ingwina Shamwa Karonga (the crocodiles of Karonga). Within the first 10 minutes they had already shot twice on Karonga United's goal without a reply.
After 13 minutes, Brown Magaga received a through ball on the right flank, raced towards the by-line beating a defender in the process, before crossing the ball for Deus Mkutu to finish.
The Ingwina Shamwa Karonga settled into the game and were able to exchange their own passes but lacked the killer punch in the final attacking third.
Mkutu registered his brace in the 32nd minute. A decent through ball from the middle of the park allowed him to beat Karonga United advancing goalkeeper as he placed the ball on the far post.
There were no goals in the second half.
Moyale's Lesman Singini was named player of the match.
Speaking after the match, Karonga United coach, Dan Dzimkambani, said he never expected the defeat.
"We did not play our usual game and I think this wasn't our day. We struggled in the first half but in the second half the boys played very well only that we failed to score goals.
"We need to beef up our squad to contain the heat in the second round but otherwise the team is still in good shape," explained Dzimkambani.
The winning coach, Prichard Mwansa, expressed happiness for finishing the first round with 24 points.
"I am very happy winning this game and finishing the first round with 24 points. It wasn't easy. Karonga United played very well but our defence was good, blocking them in the scoring area."
"We started the season badly but we polished our weaknesses and picked up our form. The players are now playing very good football and we expect to continue doing well in the second round although we know it's going to be tough," explained Mwansa.
Karonga United has finished the first round on position 7 with 21 points from 15 games.