Silver Strikers yesterday snatched a late winner against Civil Sporting Club to return to the summit of the TNM Super League at Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe.
In a contest that stirred the passions, Kondwani Mwaila grabbed the winner for the Bankers with a fabulous free kick from 25 metres just when it seemed the revived Lilongwe derby would end in a one-all draw.
There were just seconds left in added time when Mwaila produced a moment of magic.
And in the end there were tears of joy in the sky-blue side of the capital city and tears of despair for the civil servants who struggled to come to terms with reality.
Silver’s Timothy Chitedze (L) tussles with Kachule
Following the win, Silver—who are unbeaten in the 16-team league— have toppled Be Forward Wanderers from thesummit. They have 32 points from 14 games, a point above the Nomads who have a game in hand.
The Bankers drew first blood in the 38th minute through striker Matthewes Sibale who received a pass from Binwell Katinji and then calmly controlled it with his left foot, beat two opponents, before slotting it home.
But the revived and remoulded Civil kept up the tempo and got the reward in the 77th minute through a penalty awarded after Silver defender Herbert Wayekha had handled the ball in the box and up stepped Joseph ‘Dudu’ Kachule to convert the spot-kick and level the scores.
And towards the end, Civil had a chance to surge ahead but Silver’s ‘keeper Brightone Munthali brilliantly kept out Fletcher Bandawe’s effort and they rued that chance in the final stages when Mwaila grabbed the winner.
Civil’s assistant coach Oscar Kaunda said they did not have an ounce of luck.
“It is tough luck to us. The boys gave out their all, it was a thrilling contest and we can only say congratulations to Silver,” he said.
His Silver counterpart Lovemore Fazili said: “We knew it was going to be tough because Civil have reorganised their team. It was an exciting match but credit should go to the players for fighting until literally the last whistle.”
Civil are fifth with 22 points from 15 games. n
National Sports – The Nation Online