Salima based soldiers Airborne Ranges took a giant step off the relegation zone when they fought from behind to defeat third-placed Blue Eagles 2-1 in a TNM Super League match played at Nankhaka Ground in Area 30.
The win took the Paratroopers to 29 points and they will be safe from relegation with two games to spare if either Epac FC or Blantyre United fail to get maximum points in their Sunday fixtures against Karonga United and Mafco respectively.
Blantyre United will be looking for maximum nine points in their remaining three games against Mafco, Kamuzu Barracks and leaders Big Bullets to stand any chance of avoiding relegation with Epac needing at least a win in their closing fixture against relegated Karonga to remain in the league.
At the Nankhaka Ground, Eagles just needed a point against the visiting soldiers to seal the third place and were on were on track to achieving their mission when Gilbert Chirwa tapped in a cross from exciting Schumaker Kuwali after 23 minutes.
A defensive lapse by the hosts saw Airborne levelling the scores through Christopher Banda on 36 minutes before marksman Asedi Ayami secured the much needed points for the soldiers 13 minutes from time.
A relieved Airborne coach Charles Banda described the win as important, saying his team was virtually safe from relegation.
“Practically, we are safe from relegation but we need at least a point from our remaining two games against Mighty Wanderers and Chikwawa United to be completely out of the relegation zone,” said Banda.
Eagles’ Deklerk Msakakuona expressed disappointment with his team’s failure to get the much needed point: “We really needed something from this game to seal the third place but as it is, goal difference might play a role if another team joins us on 47 points,” said Msakakuona.
With 47 points from 26 games, Eagles’ only threat are defending champions Silver Strikers who can join them on 47 points in the event of winning all their remaining three games against Karonga United, Red Lions and Azam Tigers. The cops will, however, have a last chance of
sealing the third position in their final game against Moyale Barracks.