NEWS | SPORTS | NFRA & SIMSO PREMIER LEAGUE UPDATES
By Sozo Kaperemera
…mixed fortunes for rookies on their debuts
…21 goals registered in second week.
The Northern Region Football Association (NRFA) premier league which is sponsored by Simama and Sons (SIMSO) to the tune of 5 million kwacha (literary the least sponsored second tier league in the country) returned to action for the 2019 season where only 18 teams are competing; two short of last season’s.
The 2019 season welcomes five new faces as second tier football has spread into other districts in the region. Kajipoze, and Hewe from Rumphi, Favoured Stars, and Mzimba Young Bullets from the Ngoni land (Mzimba) with Chintheche representing the Tonga land (Nkhatabay) are the teams which will taste the heat of semi top-flight football and some may also be looking forward to do a “Leicester” and see their way up to the elite league.
In the second week, 21 shots passed between the sticks with 3 goals coming from the two new entrants (Hewe and Chintheche).
It appears to be another heatwave in the offing as the matches proceed in the coming weeks.
So, without much ado, let’s round up how it was like in the second week of our esteemed league.
In Mzuzu, it couldn’t get any better for Mzuzu football fans than a treat of an early derby where last year’s third placed team, Fish Eagles welcomed home noisy neighbors Zolozolo united at Katoto Secondary school ground. The hosts were caught napping as the visiting Zolozolo showed their prowess by beating their rivals in a Five goal thriller, 1-4 it ended.
The result saw Fish Eagles anchoring the table with zero points in the week 2 of action while Zolozolo is enjoying the second place with 3 points as they both played a single game.
In Rumphi, New boys Hewe United played host to league’s old guns Kawaza FC in a match which was seen as a meet between the experience and the rookies.
After 90 tiresome minutes of play, the host carried they day by getting the better of their Rumphi fellows in a 2-1 score line.
The result puts Hewe United at the summit of the table having played two games (League launch against Rumphi United) with 4 points as for Kawaza hold the 14th position without a point.
In Chitipa, the league returned to the land of last year’s campaign champions (Chitipa United) where Lufita United was visited by Rumphi United and there was nothing to write about from the border region as the teams settled for a blank draw. Lufita lie on position 12 with 1 point.
In Mzimba, last year’s strugglers Embangweni United hoped to start on a higher note as they welcomed rookies Favoured Stars who travelled some few kilometers for their debut encounter in the division.
Unlike in Chitipa, there was nothing to write home about as the “Favored boys” managed to hold the hosts in a blank draw as well. Embangweni united are 11th with a point and Favoured Stars are 10th with a single point.
Still in the Ngoni land, old guns Kabwafu United were at home against former flames international Luka Milanzi’s Chintheche United at Kabwafu ground where the lakeshore boys showed no signs of fear as they played to a 1 all draw away from home against an experienced side in the division. Kabwafu are middle of the table with 1 point.
On the Easter Sunday there were only 5 matches as maximum points were up for grabs in different play grounds with two districts Karonga and Mzimba being the setting.
In Karonga, last season’s surprise package Baka City were at home against Rumphi United and the former didn’t want to disappoint their Wives, family and friends as they used home ground advantage to beat their opponents by 3 goals to 2.
The result means Rumphi united has dropped 4 points on the road as they are now on position 8 with a point while Baka sits comfortably on position 5, with 3 points.
Just miles away from pa Boma, Chilumba Barracks came out in full force as they welcomed visiting Kajipoze FC at Majaliro ground where the soldiers survived the scare to beat the rookies by a goal to nil. The win helped them to be on 6th position with 3 points and for Kajipoze the loss condemned them to 16th position with no point.
In Ekwendeni, having forced a draw against Kabwafu in their debut match, the morale was high for Chintheche United as they invaded Ekwendeni to face the Ekwendeni United.
On this day, however, the honeymoon was over for the new comers as they were hammered by 2 goals to nil. Ekwendeni United now occupy the 3rd position with 3 points. As for Chintheche, the first week in the second tier offered them the 13th place for a starter with a point.
Finally, in Mzuzu, Luwinga United faced a new looking Ekwendeni Hammers at the Luwinga community center ground the home ground of the former.
Hammers did not leave any stone behind on their quest for the championship as the humbled the hosts by 2 goals to nil. Luwinga United are one step above Fish Eagles with no point while for Hammers they sit on position 4 with 3 points.
That is what transpired in the second week of the NRFA SIMSO premier league, as teams are eyeing promotion to the top-flight league. As the saying goes “A million miles journey starts with a single step”.
Be on the lookout next week as we will bring you the updates on the third week of our esteemed league.
Below are the fixtures for the 3rd week of SIMSO premier league.