MZUZU--Blue Eagles FC on Sunday clawed their way to the K12 million Fellowship Association of Malawi (FAMA) Top Eight final after preying on Epac FC with 2-goal hero Innocent Bokosi being the toast of the day at Civo Stadium in the capital Lilongwe.
The cops will now face Big Bullets who on Saturday beat Zomba-based soldiers Red Lions 2-1 in a temperamental semifinal fixture which saw referee Francisco Scova being a target for attack from the Lions’ bench for denying Dan Katunga two first half goals, which he ruled off-side.
Played on a slippery pitch after a downpour, the Lilongwe derby failed to live up to expected standards associated with Super League teams and it was also marred by high tempers.
Epac had the ball into the net 15 minutes into the game through Jafali Chande, but ref Symon Juvinala blew for offside to deny them the pleasure of an early lead.
Let down by the disallowed ball, Epac lost concentration in the midfield to allow Eagles midfield duo of John Banda and Eliya Kabingu to call the shots.
Kabingu’s masterly in the midfield yielded the first goal after he outpaced two Epac players to float a perfect cross into the box for Bokosi to tap home the opener before recess.
In the second half, it was Banda’s turn to set Bokosi to complete his brace with a perfect header from an impeccable cross after dribbling past Bright Phiri and Tsanzo Dalio.
On Saturday, Red Lions were unlucky not to emerge victorious after putting up a spirited show of attacking soccer.
Despite scoring first, the soldiers failed to contain the Peoples Team counter-attacks and veteran striker Grant Lungu and upcoming Gabadinho Mhango scored in each half, wiping out Prichard Mwansa early lead from the penalty spot to book a ticket to the FAMA Top Eight final to be played on a date and venue yet to be decided.
But nasty scenes erupted after the referee blew the final whistle when some Lions substitute players attacked ref Scova for denying striker Dan Katunga’s two first-half goals, which from a spectator’s view looked quite genuine.
And Lions coach Collins Nkuna was not amused by officiation.
"Bullets scored beautiful goals no doubt. We also scored, but the referee was against us. You cannot call it bias. Let’s call this outright incompetence," Nkhuna was quoted by The Nation as saying after the match.
But his counterpart Eddington Ng’onamo was happy with the result although he still has a lot of work to do in defence.
"Yeah, we played well but we can do better," he said, affording an infectious smile.
Meanwhile, the Super League of Malawi (Sulom) has taken FAMA to task, demanding a report on the Top Eight charity bonanza, which is reportedly running without the league’s blessing.
According to The Nation, Sulom demanded the report on Saturday following the ugly scenes when some Red Lions players on the bench descended on Scova after the final whistle.
Sulom general secretary Williams Banda said FAMA took advantage of the off-season break to organize the bonanza which involves teams affiliated to Sulom.
“The competition’s rules and regulations should be sent to Sulom as soon as possible,” Banda said, while condemning the hooliganism perpetrated by the Red Lions players and urging FAMA to write a report.
---©2012 The Maravi Post. Reproduction authorised, with usual acknowledgment