Malawi national football team attackers Gerald Phiri Jnr and Richard Mbulu have described their Premier Soccer League (PSL) survival with Baroka FC as a great achievement.
During the last day of action in the 2019/20 PSL season on Saturday, Baroka came from behind to force a 1-1 stalemate against giants Kaizer Chiefs.
The single point was enough to see Baroka staying put in the league while denying Chiefs the coveted title.
Baroka finished the season on 14th position with 29 points.
Phiri said the survival was unexpected because they were struggling to win matches throughout the season.
“I was expecting relegation because winning proved difficult for us in most games. So escaping relegation on the final day of the season was a joyful moment for us. We conceded a goal before half time but we kept fighting and managed to get the equaliser.
“This was my first time to captain a club. It was a special occasion for me considering that it happened in a foreign land. I was given this task in the first round. Being trusted with team leadership is not a joke, especially for a Malawian player like me.
“I did my best to work with my teammates until the coach decided to hand over the armband to our goalkeeper Elvis Chipezeze. The journey was tough in the second round but we did not lose hope. We continued fighting up to the end,” he said.
Mbulu said he was also excited with the survival but remained unhappy with his failure to score.
“What concerned me most throughout the season was my failure to score. It is good that the coach still had confidence in me but I could have done better in helping the team.
“Life has been tough for me as a striker. Of course I have not scored any goal but my contribution has helped the team to survive. I am here for another two seasons and I have a chance to do better,” Mbulu said.
Phiri and Mbulu signed three-year deals with the Limpopo-based side in June last year.
Baroka failed to reach the Nedbank Cup final when they lost 0-3 to Bloemfontein Celtic in the semifinal stage last month.