Goalkeepers keep stealing show in Malawi’s Carlsberg Cup

Mangochi Police goalkeeper George Chauya becomes the fourth goal minder in a row to be recognised as Malawi’s Carlsberg Cup discovery award.

Carlsberg Malawi Senior Brands Manager Twikale Chirwa presents Chauya with his award
Carlsberg Malawi Senior Brands Manager Twikale Chirwa presents Chauya with his award

The 24-year-old was was instrumental in Mangochi’s fairytale run in the 2016 Carlsberg Cup in which the lower league side reached the semifinals.

He  kept four clean sheets in six games to top the pool from 24 sports journalists affiliated to the Sports Writers Association of Malawi — with 63 percent of the votes (15), comfortably ahead of Nyasa Big Bullets striker Collen Nkhulambe (6 votes) and Prison United goalkeeper Moses Luwindi John (3).

The three previous winners for this award, meant to encourage exceptional performance at all levels, were inaugural winner Kamuzu Barracks’ goalkeeper Lehman Nthala in 2013, Moyale Barracks goalkeeper Juma Chikwenga in 2015 and Zomba United’s goal  minder Francis Mwambo in 2014.

The award comes with a K200,000 prize money and a memento trophy courtesy of Carlsberg Malawi.

Chauya saved crucial penalties to lead his team to three penalty shootout victories against MDF Marine in the second round of the regional preliminaries, Chikhwawa United in the round of 32 and Wizards in the quarterfinals.

His feat in the previous games attracted so much attention that after frustrating eventual winners Mighty Be Forward Wanderers in the first half of the semifinal match at Kamuzu Stadium, Wanderers supporters poured pork soup on him at halftime in an effort to defuse juju — which the fans believed the lad was using and thus his excellent performance.

Commenting on this incident, Chauya told www.fam.mw that this was unfortunate as he doesn’t believe in such rituals.

“I don’t use juju I am just a good goalkeeper.”

He was substituted at half time due to an injury he sustained after colliding with Wanderers striker Peter Wadabwa and in his absence Mangochi conceded in the second half to lose 0-1.

“I swear to God Wanderers would not have scored if I was still in goals,” Chauya told www.fam.mw. “That match would have been decided by post-match penalties. I was at the hospital when Wanderers scored and I cried a lot like a little baby.

“I am very happy to win this award. There were a lot of young players who did well and for me to get the recognition is a big honour.

“This is just the beginning I look forward to play in the Super League next season,” said Chauya, who is set to join Blue Eagles in January.

In other individual awards, Daniel Dzinkambani of Ginnery Corner and Lawson Chilewe of Prison United were joint top scorers with five goals and got K100,000 each.

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