The TNM Super League will be decided on the final day, but as it stands, Nyasa Big Bullets appear a hop, skip and jump away from retaining the title.
The People’s Team on Sunday left it late to edge Mzuzu-based Moyale Barracks 1-0 at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre while their age-old rivals Be Forward Wanderers also saw-off TN Stars 2-1 at Kasungu Stadium to keep up the momentum.
With a game each before the end of the league, Bullets are still at the summit of the 16-team league with 67 points while the Nomads trail them by a point.
Bullets will host TN Stars in their final league match while the Nomads will travel to Lilongwe to face relegated MlathoMponela at Civo Stadium.
In a contest that shredded the nerves of the turnout, veteran forward ChiukepoMsowoya, who was thrown in as a substitute, scored the priceless goal in the 78th minute when he swung upfield to plant home Peter Banda’s well-curled corner-kick.
However, the goal sparked protests from the Malawi Defence Force (MDF) side, who claimed that the ball did not cross the goal line.
Apparent breakdown in communication between referee Evidence Kananji and his assistant referee on the far left did not help matters either.
But after a lengthy dispute, the referee stood his ground and awarded the goal to the relief of Bullets faithful.
As desperation took its toll earlier on in the 47th minute, Bullets were awarded a penalty following a handball.
But the resultant casually taken spot-kick by Hassan Kajoke was saved by Moyale’s in-form goalkeeper OllisNkhwazi.
Bullets created a plethora of chances in both halves, but sadly failed to make them count with Kajoke the notable culprit.
Moyale forced Bullets into rearguard action towards the end, but Bullets held on and the final whistle was greeted by a thunderous din from the People’s Team’s fans.
Moyale coach Collins Nkuna said he was disappointed that Bullets’ goal stood.
“That was not a goal. As far as I am concerned, this match has ended 0-0. Referees are killing our game.
“Nevertheless, it was a good game, we played well and created some chances only that our final touch in front of goal was awful,” he said.
His Bullets counterpart CallistoPasuwa was visibly relieved.
“It was a very difficult match. Moyale played well and they were very solid.
“We created a number of good chances, but we were not patient enough in front of goal. At times maturity also comes into play and it was obvious that we lacked that element,” he said.
Moyale have finished the season with 42 points and are sixth.
In Kasungu, the Nomads led 1-0 at half-time through Vincent Nyangulu’s strike before Felix Zulu doubled the lead in the second half.
But towards the end, the hosts scored their consolation goal through Stain Dave.
TN Stars are ninth going into their last match against the Bullets with 41 points.