Banned fans stood like statues outside a vacant Kamuzu Stadium on Tuesday when Silver Strikers clinched their third straight TNM Super League championship.
The Bankers successfully finished the title campaign with a three-point cushion on 53 points ahead of second-placed Moyale Barracks to claim the K8 million ultimate prize after beating disoriented Mighty Wanderers 2-1.
Ndaziona Chatsalira and Green Harawa were on target in the sixth and 50th minute respectively for the capital city giants.
It was a replay coming 52 days after the two teams’ aborted meeting at Balaka Stadium.
Tuesday, Silver built on their December 28 performance to ensure that Wanderers missed out on the K2 million fourth-place prize and finish sixth on 46 points.
A throw-in in the early stages of the match left Wanderers’ defence in sixes and sevens, probably due to heavy breakfast, allowing Chatsalira to blast a rebound into the net after goalkeeper Richard Chapuwa’s initial save.
Chatsalira could have added the second, but his diving header screamed wide.
The second phase started in similar fashion with the second goal.
Silver’s Chawanangwa Kaonga crossed the ball for Harawa to sneak between defenders and fire home a rebound.
It seemed the game was headed for a rout. But Wanderers coach Stuart Mbolembole’s injection of fresh legs of Victor Mpinganjira, Felix Kamwendo and Edward Chalaika for Peter Mselema, Mike Kaziputa and Abraham Kamwendo stepped up the tempo.
The Nomads’ reward came through probable man of-the-match Timothy Chitedze’s glancing header off Mayeso Mphanje’s 81st minute indirect free-kick.
After the match, Silver officials and players sung and danced on the pitch but there was no Super League of Malawi’s presentation of a dummy cheque to the Bankers whose coach Stain Chirwa was nonetheless excited.
“Our title retention proves that what God has planned nobody can stop. When we got the second goal, my players could smell the championship to end the prolonged season. I believe the title was won on December 28 but other forces interfered,” Chirwa said.
In another post-match interview, Wanderers’ coach Mbolembole was neither impressed with the result nor the performance, noting that his players “had no hunger to fight, let alone character.”
The game marked the end of the season which has Moyale finishing second position with 50 points followed by Mafco’s 49 points then Kamuzu Barracks and Blue Eagles on fourth and fifth positions respectively.