Epac FC, alias Njenjete zaku Lilongwe on Sunday, December 13, 2015 dodged death, when they defeated second-placed Mafco FC 4-3 at Civo Stadium to set up another win or sink tie against anti-relegation rivals Dedza Young Soccer.
With the declaration by Super League of Malawi (Sulom) that three bottom teams will face relegation, a loss or draw against the Soccer Instructors from Salima would have automatically ended Njenjete’s life in the TNM Super League but a late strike by Innocent Tanganyika gave the Dini Josiah boys some lifeline.
Epac will now have to beat Dedza Young Soccer at all cost when the two sides meet in a game that is likely to determine the second relegation casualty from Central Region after Airborne Rangers. Rangers were the first team to be relegated in the 2015 league season after suffering a 2-1 defeat away at Azam Tigers.
Against the soldiers on Sunday, Epac were the first to hit the target- courtesy of Ranken Mwale, who headed in a cross from Mude Jeffrey after 20 minutes. Mwale was on target again after two minutes, heading home a free-kick by Dalitso Mwase, which was flicked into his path by Joseph ‘Dudu’ Kachule.
Richard Mbulu reduced the arrears for the Instructors after capitalising on a blunder by goalkeeper Tione Tembo, who spilled a harmless looking shot ball before Jeffrey extended the hosts’ lead to keep the scores 3-1 in favour of Epac at half time.
Mafco were awarded a penalty on 23 minutes following a foul by an Epac defender on Mbulu, who took the spot-kick himself to make it 3-2.
Substitute Hassan ‘Anganga’ Chapola levelled the scores 12 minutes to time after capitalising on a defensive lapse by Epac but Tanganyika saved Njenjete from instant death when he rammed the ball home following a corner kick by Kachule.
Mafco were reduced to 10 men on the dot of full time when referee Patrick Ngoleka gave marching orders to Chikondi Maloya for dangerous play.
The win pushed Epac from 24 to 27 points, two below Dedza Young Soccer, who will just need a point from the game against Epac to survive relegation at Njenjete’s expense. Victory by Epac will see Dedza relegated from the elite league after staying in the league for just one season.
Speaking after the final whistle, Epac Coach Abbas Makawa declared war on Dedza.
“They (Dedza) beat us in the first round. It is now our turn to get the three points, which will keep us in the top league,” said Makawa.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :