Salima-based soldiers Airborne Rangers on Saturday, January 18, 2014 earned promotion into the Super League after edging Black Eagles 1-0 in a tough Chipiku Premier Division encounter played before a good crowd at Lilongwe Technical College ground.
The Paratroopers only needed three points from their remaining three matches to join the elite league and that was secured squarely two minutes into the game when referee Clement Kamwendo awarded them a controversial penalty.
Kamwendo awarded the penalty after Eagles midfielder Noel Katenje had handled in a seemingly ball-to-hand situation. Efforts by the Eagles player to complain to the referee only worsened matters for the police outfit as Kamwendo flashed him with a straight red-card.
Dingiswayo Banda converted the spot kick for the visitors but despite playing with 10 men for the rest of the game, Eagles won hearts of the fans with their good display.
The cops were actually the better side of the afternoon and no wonder Fam technical director Captain John
Kaputa, who is sports officer at the Malawi Defence Force went to offer some tips to Airborne coach Thomas Maloya after the game.
Maloya admitted it was not a vintage display by his charges but said the most important thing was that the side had achieved its mission.
“We were not on top of our game. Perhaps the boys were contented with the early goal especially after seeing that our opponents had been reduced to ten men. We knew there was no way they could have come back
into the game but as coach I feel we could have done better,” said Maloya.
The former Red Lions player declared that his side was coming into the Super League to stay.
“Kamuzu Barracks came into the Super League only two seasons ago but they are now amongst the giants. We want to emulate their example and I don’t see the team coming back to Chipiku League,” said Maloya.
The victory saw Rangers moving from 76 points to an unassailable 79 points.