By Mabvuto Kambuwe:
The battle for survival in the TNM Super League reaches the climax this weekend as relegation-threatened teams are set to know their fates.
Seven teams, namely Mafco, Red Lions, Dwangwa United, TN Stars, Dwangwa United, Karonga United and Blue Eagles are not safe from relegation and need to collect maximum points in their remaining matches to be assured of survival.
Mafco host 2016 league champions Kamuzu Barracks (KB) at Chitowe Stadium in a match which could decide the fate of the Salima-based soldiers who won 4-3 against Tigers last Sunday to revive their survival hopes.
With just two games to wind up the season, Mafco are stuck in the relegation zone with 28 points from 28 games, four points behind fellow soldiers Red Lions.
Any result other than a win will mark the end of the road for Mafco in the top flight league this season.
Mafco will wrap up the season with a match against Be Forward Wanderers. The match could also be crucial to the soldiers’ survival chances as they need every point they can get.
But the military side’s Coach Tione Mhone is still upbeat on avoiding the chop.
“I have always said that we do not deserve to be in the relegation zone. Our destiny is in our own hands and the players know the importance of the game. So we are well prepared for the battle,” Mhone said.
But facing KB will not be easy for the Salima-based soldiers as the Lilongwe outfit would like to finish the season on a high. KB are on position six on the log table with 37 points having played 29 games.
KB Coach Temwa Msuku has been with Mafco before and knows what to expect from the players he once worked with.
“This is our last game of the season and we want maximum points. We know that Mafco will come hard on us as they are looking to escape relegation. But we also want the points to finish in the top 8,” Msuku said.
Up North, there is a battle between Karonga United and Dwangwa United at Karonga Stadium. Karonga are in danger of dropping to the second –tier Simso Northern Region Football Association League with 31 points.
Karonga have two games to wind up the season whereas Dwangwa are on position 11 with 34 points from 27 games.
Relegated Nchalo United will face Mzuni at Kalulu Stadium in the other match to be played today.
Action continues tomorrow as another relegation-threatened side, TN Stars, takes on Masters Security at Dedza Stadium.
Stars are on position 12 with 34 points from 28 games whereas Masters are fifth with 38 points from 27 games. Defending champions Be Forward Wanderers have a chance to reduce the gap with leaders Nyasa Big Bullets as they host Mzuni FC at Kamuzu Stadium.
A vibrant writer who gives a great insight on hot topics and issues