Chaos as Bullets handed first loss, Epac bites: Malawi TNM Super League

There were chaotic scenes at Silver Stadium in Lilongwe on Sunday, June 15, 2014 as Epac FC, alias Njenjete zaku Lilongwe handed Big Bullets their first league loss of the season in an ill-tempered match
marred by controversial refereeing.

Fresh from Saturday’s sweet 2-1 victory over defending league champions Silver Strikers, Bullets started from there they had left the previous day with strikers Mussa Manyenje, formerly of Epac and Jimmy Zakazaka causing havoc in Epac defence.

However, Epac defence marshalled by former Mponela United centre back Justin Kamanga stood firm to prevent the duo from shooting past goalkeeper Owen Chaima. The former Bullets’ goalkeeper was also outstanding as he made some crucial saves to frustrate the visitors.

Historic day for Bullets technical panel   as Epac FC hand coach Kananji and Bullets his first-ever league game loss this season
Historic day for Bullets technical panel as Epac FC hand coach Kananji and Bullets his first-ever league game loss this season

After that promising start, things turned in the 14th minute when Lilongwe based referee Roy Williams awarded Epac a controversial penalty as defender Sankhani Mkandawire was adjudged to have blocked
Jafali Chande in the box.

Bullets vehemently protested against the referee’s decision but the ref stood his ground. From the spot Chande beat Bullets goalkeeper Vincent Gona to put his side in the lead.

Moments after the goal, Williams had to stop the game for some minutes as Bullets fans pelted missiles on the field of play.

Some Bullets fans also rose from the VIP stand and confronted first assistant referee Innocent Kaundula and fourth official before the police moved in to calm the situation.

There were no more goals up to the final whistle and coaches from both the winning and losing camps did not have kind words on the referee.

“It was a good game but the referee spoiled the afternoon with his poor decisions. He was not favouring any side but he made some questionable decisions against both teams. All in all, I am happy that
we have won after posting some poor results in out earlier games,” said Epac coach Audlo Makonyola after the whistle.

His counterpart Elia Kananji said the result was influenced by poor refereeing, claiming his charges were demoralized by biased officiation.

Angered by the officiation, Bullets fans and officials stormed the pitch after the game to tell the referees their peace of mind but police rushed in to protect the match officials. More Bullets fans rushed to join the fray, leaving the police officers with no choice but to do what they enjoy most- fire tear-gas.

The loss has taken Bullets to second position to Blue Eagles on goal difference.

Other results of games played yesterday: Moyale Barracks 2 Blue Eagles 2, Airborne Rangers 3 Azam Tigers 0, Kamuzu Barracks 1 Civo United 2, Blantyre United 1 Chikwawa United 2.

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