Silver Strikers Reserve side of Lilongwe are the champions of the FMB Under 20 League after beating Mtopwa Super Boys of Blantyre 1-0 in the final that took place on Saturday at Mzuzu Stadium.
From the word go, Silver Strikers Reserve were in control of things especially through their captain Hadji Wali in midfield who kept on initiating important attacking moves together with Ronald Pangani, Chinsinsi Maonga, Yamikani Tambala and Isaac Masambero.
Mtopwa Super Boys were firm at the back led by Happy Katsamba but they could not hold on until recess. A minute before half time, Hadji Wali’s through ball found Ronald Pangani who unleashed a thunderous low shot outside the 18 metre box beating goalkeeper for Mtopwa Super Boys, Andrew Gusto.
In the second half, Mtopwa Super Boys coach Enos Chatama, who is also coach for Malawi Under 20 National Team, made several changes to his team to try and get an equalizer.
Captain Mphatso Magalasi was pulled out for Hope Banda, Chimwemwe Kachigong’o came in for Kondwani Saizi while injured Chimwemwe Yasini was replaced by Samuel Alufandika.
The changes saw Mtopwa metamorphosing into a fierce attacking side in the second half.
Davie Moya and Rodrick Gonani on the Silver Strikers Reserve technical bench had to tell their captain Hadji Wali to drop and start defending the only goal they got in the first half.
Three minutes before full time, substitute Chimwemwe Kachigong’o for Mtopwa Super Boys scored the much needed equalizer and referee Mavuto Msimuko allowed them to celebrate for a minute only to notice that his assistant McHastings Kanjati had his flag up for off side.
When Msimuko ruled the goal out, Mtopwa Super Boys surrounded assistant referee Kanjati. The officiating personnel had to flee the pitch to the dressing rooms fearing dangerous assault by angry youths of Mtopwa Super Boys.
The game had to stop for about ten minutes as Mtopwa officials insisted that they were being robbed of the game.
After negotiations, the officiating team was called back into the field of play and after 80 minutes it was still Silver Strikers Reserve 1 and Mtopwa Super Boys 0.
Speaking after the game, Mtopwa Super Boys coach Enos Chatama accepted defeat though he said the goal for Silver Strikers was not legitimate.
“I wish to congratulate Davie Moya and his charges. May be it wasn’t our day but we fought very hard. Ref’s decisions are sometimes hard to understand but we hope to do better next time,” added Chatama.
His opposite number Davie Moya said it was good to be national champions of the FMB Under 20 League.
“My boys played according to instructions and I’m glad we’ve made it,” retorted Davie Moya.
The champions went away with one million Kwacha and a trophy while Mtopwa Super Boys got K600,000.00.
In the semis on Friday, Mtopwa Super Boys beat Fish Eagles of Mzuzu by a goal to nil while Silver Strikers Reserve thrashed Malema FC of Chitipa by five goals to one.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :