…..Teams will be on recess for three weeks
By Duncan KAONGA.
The first round of our esteemed league in the 2017/18 ended on Saturday where we saw only four teams completing their final first round encounters in a season where only 16 teams were eligible to take part.
Fish Eagles were at home against Karonga United at Mzuzu where the hosts finished their first round on a high note when they got the better of their visitors by beating them by a goal to nil courtesy of their top goal scorer Christopher Gwalawala Msowoya. Eagles have finished on mid of the table with 22 points from 15 games while their counterpart ended their first round on position 3 with 29 points from the same number of games.
The other game involved struggling rookies Ipota shooting stars who are finding the going hard in the league as they played host to improved Ekwendeni Hammers at the Karonga community ground. The match ended in favor of the travelling side when the home side failed to utilize the advantage of playing at home. The final score was 0-1. Ipota finished the first round with 15 points from 15 games and they are just one step above the relegation zone as for Ekwendeni Hammers, they have finished on position 7 with 23 points from 15 games.
The first half of our esteemed league did not disappoint as no team was a walk over as each team was putting up a grand fight for the maximum points. Though this was the case, overall the rookies have been finding it tough as compared to the already established teams.
Chilumba Barracks FC has been on the summit of the standings from the first week making themselves possible champions elect of this season as they only tasted defeat on two occasions throughout the first half of the league. It is also a team with the most solid defense line having only let in 4 goals.
Bolero FC rejuvenated themselves towards the end of the first half when they took the league by storm as they replaced unsettled Karonga United on the 2nd position from position 5 and they finished with 3 points behind the log leaders.
Embangweni United, Lura United and Manyamula FC have been in the red zone from the first week and have been exchanging the three positions in the bottom end. Both (the latter two) have let in 35 goals (each) from 15 games. Embangweni has been the most miserable one of them all as it anchors the table with 9 points from 15 matches, with 2 wins, 3 draws and 10 losses.
According to Masiya Nyasulu, the Northern Region Football Association (NRFA) General Secretary said the first round has been outstanding.
“As you are aware this season we have 16 teams as previously we were complaining that teams were not fulfilling their assignments but this season all teams in the first round have managed to complete the tasks which they were given. In short I can say the first round has been a success.” Said Nyasulu
The teams will be at ease for three weeks as action will resume from the 2nd of September and teams are urged to follow normal channels when registering players and that all documents pertaining to the player should be available because of late some teams have been producing their own illegal cards and once they are caught the arm of the law shall take its course.
During the recess, the NRFA will be conducting interface meetings with teams and men in black as they are the ones who determine the standard of play and the results of the game according to Nyasulu.
“We will be meeting with the teams to outline the problems encountered in the first round. In addition, we’ll also meet referees representatives as some teams have been complaining that the referees were favoring home teams and we want to look into that when we meet to improve our league.” Explained Nyasulu.
Lately teams have been complaining about the scorers’ chart as some players from top sides are missing on the chart and it has brought some confusion to the teams but the association says it will sought all this out before the second round kicks off.
It was a great first half of the league as we saw many shots hitting the back of the net and there were also disappointments and excitements from all the weeks and as the teams go to the break they are expected to come back strong and deliver for their respective teams.