Epac FC, Njenjete zaku Lilongwe Saturday, December 19, 2015 won the do-or-die battle against Dedza Young Soccer after defeating their opponents 2-1 in an emotional TNM Super League match played before a large crowd at Civo Stadium in Lilongwe.
The result means Dedza are relegated from the TNM Super League, having finished amongst the bottom three teams. They have closed the season on 29 points, just like Mzuzu University (Mzuni) but the students have been saved by a better goal difference.
Only needing a point to escape the chop, the rookies from Dedza took the lead just eight minutes into the game when Fletcher Bandawe connected the ball home from close range after Epac goalkeeper Tione Tembo and his defence had failed to clear a cross from Chisomo Mpachika.
Epac went level on 33 minutes in highly controversial circumstances as unmarked Ranken Mwale headed nodded home a cross from a suspected off-side position.
The Dini Josiah boys, however, had what looked like a legitimate goal by the same player ruled out for off-side close to the break.
There was pandemonium at half time as Dedza supporters fought against their Epac counter-parts, who had tried to block the visitors from going to the dressing room.
Police fired teargas to disperse the aggressive parties and the situation only calmed down after some 15 minutes.
Players from the two camps also nearly fought on the field just before the start of the game but were restrained by some officials.
Mphatso Dzongololo delivered the killer punch after 66 minutes when he connected the ball first time after an earlier effort by Dalitso Mwase was blocked by a Dedza defender.
Dedza had several chances to salvage the much needed point in the dying moments but they squandered all the opportunities.
Epac players, fans and officials burst into wild celebrations after the whistle and one fan removed his pair of trousers and went around wearing only his shirt and under pant.
Some fans followed the vocal Dedza coach Milias ‘Jegwe’ Pofera singing: Jegwe mutu sukugwira, Jegwe mutu sukugwira.
Pofera conceded defeat, congratulating the opponents for their victory.
“We took an early lead but my boys were very jittery and we ended up conceding. We failed to settle in the second half and conceded another goal. We accept the loss and congratulations to Epac,” said Jegwe.
“It’s a sad day for everyone associated with Dedza Young Soccer but we will bounce back, I want that to be the main message to our fans,” he added.
His counterpart Abbas Makawa was on cloud nine.
“People were not giving us a chance but we had belief in ourselves. We knew Dedza would push for an early goal to sit back but our game plan was to fight up to the end and the boys really fought tooth and nail,” said Makawa.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :