A GOAL in each half was what division one South league leaders Kabwe Warriors needed to stop Zesco Malaiti Rangers in an explosive Saturday league encounter that saw Mazabuka referee Emmanuel Njoole unleash five yellow cards.
Njoole also ordered Warriors head coach Muhammad Fathy to watch the last eight minutes of the game played at Godfrey Chitalu stadium in Kabwe from the terraces after losing his temper over the way the referee was handling the match.
Malaiti, having lost the first leg at their home ground seemed to have done their homework and started the game at a fast pace, dominating the first 20 minutes but lacked the finishing punch.
In the 10th minute veteran Lameck Kafwaya registered a goal for the Warriors much to the frenzy of the fans that had filled the stadium.
However Kafwaya’s goal did not ‘turn off’ Malaiti Rangers as they kept on pressurizing but their efforts were thwarted by Warriors’ goalie Lawrence Mulenga.
Malaiti were later awarded a penalty after a crude tackle from Warriors Kalonde Marcel who was also yellow carded just at the end of the first half but failed to convert it by hitting the cross bar.
The second half saw Warriors dominate with Congolese striker Idrissy Mbombo piercing through the Malaiti defence but he could not find a goal for himself.
In the 49th minute Godfrey Ngwenya, playing in an unusual position of attacking midfielder instead of left winger won a loose ball in the midfield and released to Mombo who after failing to convert a goal, created an easy chance for Nsofwa Mulenga to register the railway men’s second goal.
Marcel almost made it 3-0 when he volleyed a Mbombo cross into the net but the referee stopped the frenzy in the stadium by flagging him offside. The flagging, together with the multiple yellow cards on Warriors’ players blew coach Fathy’s temper.
In the 82nd minute, Ngwenya was brought down and instead the referee only blew for foul, thereby attracting complaints from Fathy.
Referee Njoole who stamped his authority just in the first half had no kind feelings for the Egyptian born Warriors trainer and ordered him to leave the technical bench.