There was pandemonium at the Nankhaka Stadium on Saturday when police officers and Malawi Army soldiers were involved in a physical battle after police side Blue Eagles beat Zomba based soldiers Red Lions 2-1 in the quarterfinals of the Carlsberg cup competition.
Confusion started after the referee of the day Anthony Raphael blew the final whistle to mark the end of the entertaining and thrilling encounter.
Red Lions players descended towards the referee to rough him up after the final whistle accusing him of favouring Blue Eagles.
The players claimed the match official denied them two clear penalties thus after Blue Eagles striker Charles Ngosi handled the ball in his own penalty as he was trying to clear the ball plus a foul on a Red Lions player inside the penalty box.
Things got worse when a police officer arrested and handcuffed a Red Lions civilian soldier accusing him of inciting violence.
Uniformed and civilian police officers blocked the soldiers TATA truck they were travelling in from leaving Area 30 premises demanding that the arrested Red Lions soldier who was rescued by fellow soldiers be freed without him taking the handcuffs away.
It is reported that the arrested soldier was beaten by the police.
Red Lions looked a better side for the better part of the first half with the players playing wonderful one touch football.
Blue Eagles struggled to control the proceeding particularly on the midfield despite featuring three central midfielders in the name of Patrick Masanjala, Phillip Masiye and Japhet Mambelera who were both out-scooped by Flames international Dave Banda.
Banda made a number of solo efforts including two good trade mark long range shots which missed the target by a whisker.
Chimwemwe Gundampanda also produced a wonderful shot in the 37th minute but Eagles goal custodian was alert to serve the situation.
Surprisingly, Blue Eagles took the lead in the 41st minute when Innocent Bokosi put the ball at the back of the net after receiving a tap in ball from Mecium Mhone.
Bokosi nearly made it two but his fierce header at the stoppage time of the first half was properly judged by Red Lions keeper Brighton Ngwenyama.
In the second half, Red Lions made two quick substitutions bringing in Lot Chawinga and Boniface Kaulesi but it never paid any dividends.
The Lions continued to play well but there efforts salvaged a big blow in the 33rd minute when Masanjala who rather had a dull afternoon netted the second goal for the Eagles through a 20 meter thunderbolt.
Kelvin Katema reduced the arrears in the 37th minute for the soldiers when he headed in the ball beating Eagles keeper Duncan Mkandawire.
Red Lions introduced veteran midfielder Prichard Mwansa towards the end replacing Steve Ziba but his great fighting spirit was let down by time.
Blue Eagles head coach Deklerk Msakakuona praised his boys for putting up a gallant fight.
“The boys really played well and am happy that we have managed to beat Red Lions which is a better side” said Msakakuona.
“They tried to come back into the game, they gave us a lot of pressure but we managed to cope up and hold him until the final whistle” he added.
His opposite number Collins Nkuna blamed the referee for favouring the Eagles.
“We were a better side today but the referee didn’t help us; he denied us two clear penalties towards the end of the match” Nkuna said.
“We have accepted the defeat we are out of the Carlsberg Cup and we will now concentrate on the Super League” he said.
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