By Lusekero Mhango
CHITIPA-(MaraviPost)-Savenda Chitipa United’s participation in next seasons TNM Super League hangs in the balance after being held to a 1-1 draw at home by a stubborn Dwangwa United side who’s league status is also hanging by a thread.
The result coupled with Mzuni FC’s fine win at Civil Sporting Club has left the Lions of Chitipa with 32 points level with the Green Intellectuals and Mtopwa with Chitipa having a worse goal difference having wind-up their league campaign along with Mzuni.
The draw meanwhile left Dwangwa in 14th place on the log table with 30 points from 29 games however fate is in their own hands knowing that a win only over Karonga United on Sunday will be enough to preserve their league status.
In a dramatic Saturday afternoon at the Karonga Stadium the visitors were first to strike a blow as they took the led in the 19th minute through a composed finish from the inform Chifunilo Mpingangela to silence an expectant home crowd.
Knowing that a win would preserve their league status the away side retreated in their own territory allowing the hosts the lion share of possession.
Hardy Nadu was the closest player to restalling parity before the break, but his 20-yard thunderbolt cannoned off the post with the Dwangwa keeper left looted to his spot.
In the second half the match began in the same fashion of the first with Chitipa doing most of the running as they searched for an equalizer.
In the 53rd minute the hosts were given a lifeline into the game from the penalty spot after Christopher Mtambo was adjudged to have been brought down in the 6-yard area but Khumbo Ng’ambi saw his kick come off the crossbar and out for a goal kick.
However, with 7 minutes to go the hosts were given another penalty after another alleged infringement by the visitor’s defence in their box and this time Charles Chipala made no mistake as he coolly stroked in the penalty to send the home faithful’s wild.
In a post-match interview Chitipa United coach Alex Ngwira, bemoaned his side’s profligacy in front of goal, attributing it to the dropped 2 points.
“We have no one to blame if we get relegated apart from us because we really should of won this match confidently going by the number of clear goal-scoring chances that we had and now our wastefulness may have cost our survival in this division,” said a visibly frustrated Ngwira.
However, his counterpart Ladwell Mbetewa, blasted the officiation accusing them of being biased in favour of the hosts.
“The officiation left a lot to be desired as the officials clearly wanted Chitipa to win and they did all that they could to make sure of that even awarding them two penalties hence I congratulate my players for not giving up despite the adversity that they faced on the pitch,” he remarked.