An injury time own goal by Epac defender Justin Kamanga was all Silver Strikers FC needed to win the K7 million Be Forward Football tournament as the Central Bankers overcame fierce resistance from Njenjete during the final match for the two-day tournament played at Stadium in Lilongwe on Saturday, September 27, 2014.
After a goal-less 90 minutes, the game appeared to be headed for the dreaded penalty-shootouts when an Ian Banda throw-in deflected off the leg of Kamanga into the net.
That marked the dramatic collapse of Epac, alias Njenjete, who had put a brave show against the national champions. Led by former Big Bullets forward Samson Chonde upfront, the youthful Epac were a delight to watch from word go and it was just sheer luck on the part of Silver that they got what they never deserved on the dot of full time.
The Bankers had their best chances in the first half, in which Epac custodian Owen Chaima made some brilliant saves to deny Peter Wadabwa, Ndaziona Chatsalira and company from scoring. But came second half, those moments became rare for Silver as Epac gained more confidence and composure with each passing moment.
“It’s very painful to lose in such a manner. It (the game) was heading towards the shoot-outs and our chances looked very bright but all over a sudden, we conceded an own goal that handed Silver the cup. All in all, I am very proud with the performance of my boys and I am looking forward to better results in our forth-coming league fixtures,” said Epac coach Audlo Makonyola.
His counterpart Stain Chirwa conceded that Epac gave them a torrid time before conceding the goal in added time.
“It was a 50-50 game. We did our best and Epac also played their lungs out. They actually gave us a tough game but in a game of football, only one has to win,” said a relieved Chirwa after the whistle.
Playing earlier, Mighty Wanderers condemned Big Bullets to capital punishment as they beat their rivals 1-0 in the third-place play-off.
Youthful Mapopa Kaunda claimed the lone strike eight minutes from time after beating Bullets custodian Vincent Gona with a well calculated drive from 20 metres out.
On Saturday, Bullets also lost by a similar margin against Silver and Njenjete defeated Wanderers on penalty shoot-outs to reach the final.
For winning the cup, Silver got K2 million and a trophy with the runners-up Epac pocketing K1 million. Wanderers got K500,000 with the ‘People’s team’ walking away with K250,000.
The trophy was presented by Be Forward President Hironori Yamakawa who watched both the losers’ final and the actual final match.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :