Blantyre Zero confirmed their qualification into the national finals of the Presidential Women Football Championships with a 2-0 win over Ntopwa Super Queens during the Southern Region finals at Chiwembe ground on Sunday.
The Ndirande-based outfit clinched their fourth Presidential regional title in a row with strikes from Sheila Dimba and Pilirani Malola to take home K300 000 (about $1 200).
Ntopwa, who had a luxurious camp training at Nkopola Lodge in Mangochi, started confidently and took the game to their opponents, but they were shocked in the 32nd minute, when Dimba connected home a loose ball after a goal-mouth scramble.
As Ntopwa pressed forward in search of a way back into the game, they created a gap in their defence until in the 76th minute when Malola lashed in the second from 20 metres after being set by Maggie Chombo-Sadiki.
“This has been one of our toughest games this season, but I am glad that they have made it to the national finals again,” said Blantyre Zero coach Abel Mkandawire after the match.
Ntopwa Super Queens blamed referee Kate Siliya for allegedly “messing up their game”, saying she was biased. They accused her of not blowing the whistle when their players were fouled in the box.
Ntopwa team manager Isaac â€˜Jomoâ€™ Osman wondered why the Southern Region Women Football Committee (SRWFC) allowed Siliya, who prematurely ended their Mutharika League match against Blantyre Zero some months ago after a misunderstanding with Ntopwa officials, to officiate this crucial game.
“We feel that all this was a set-up. The committee did not want us to win. How could they let such a controversial referee handle this regional final?” Osman wondered.
But SRWFC chairperson Catherine Chikandula argued that it was not their duty to identify a referee for the game, but the referees committee. Blantyre Zeroâ€™s Monica Chapweteka clinched the Golden Boot Award with 15 goals whereas Ntopwaâ€™s Mwayi Kasiya was player of the tournament. Each got K10 000 (about $40).