Blue Eagles FC narrowly escaped defeat at the hands of league leaders Red Lions when they struck in the 89th minute to force a 1-all draw against the roaring Lions from Zomba in a tough TNM Super League encounter played at Nankhaka ground in Area 30, Lilongwe.
The cops fell behind barely three minutes into the game after Steve Ziba had given the visitors the lead. From then on, nothing worked for the hosts as their striking force, led by Flames international John Banda failed to tick.
Red Lions, on the other hand, were more dangerous upfront where Innocent Bokosi and Kumbukani Mwambene wrecked a lot of havoc- thanks to good goalkeeping by man-of-the-match John Soko.
In an effort to correct the situation, the Eagles’ bench made a triple substitution in the second half, taking out Banda, Mecium Mhone and Charles Ngosi for Gilbert Chirwa, Wister Phiri and Elia Kabingu.
Kabingu turned out to be the saviour for the cops as he levelled the scores from a direct 3-kick with only a minute remaining on the clock.
Eagles’ assistant coach Wilson Chidati expressed relief after the whistle.
“We were in for defeat. After conceding the early goal, we lost our rhythm and were doing everything in a hurry. But thanks to the boys for forcing the equaliser towards the very end,” said Chidati.
Red Lions’ coach Pritchard Mwanza said referee Zondwayo Siwombo contributed to the result by failing to blow for a foul against his goalkeeper Jacob Kaunda by Eagles’ Phillip Masiye.
“There was a foul against our goalkeeper but the referee ignored the foul and awarded Blue Eagles a free kick that resulted into the equaliser. But a point away from home is not a bad result. We will keep on pushing for good results,” said Mwanza.
Playing at Chitowe Stadium in Dwangwa, Airborne Rangers and Civo United earned their first points of the campaign after playing a goalless draw.