They were everywhere. Inside holes and cracks, on the greasy terraces and on the soggy pitch. Wanderers defied rain drizzles to celebrate their triumphant Kamuzu Stadium return on Saturday after a lengthy ban.
After their teamÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s 2-0 win over Blantyre United, Wanderers fansÃ¢â‚¬â€affectionately called nyerereÃ¢â‚¬â€sang and danced on this afternoon.
Striker Anthony Banda for Wanderers scored in his third consecutive game whereas in losing this game, Blantyre United suffered their third straight defeat. Slipping from third position to fourth on 42 points and a game to go, Blantyre United are out of the race.
On the other hand, Wanderers remain in contention with 45 points alongside leaders Escom United, Civo United and Silver Strikers. The Lilongwe and Blantyre pairs will slug it out to the finishing line on Saturday when the curtain falls on the league.
At Kamuzu Stadium, after Gerald Phiri Jnr had put Wanderers in front in the 68th minute, with a sweet finish of Anthony BandaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s left-flank cross, it was time for provider to turn scorer. Banda made the most of UnitedÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s defensive mix-up and pounced on a loose ball.
The game itself was very close, with goalkeepers having nothing much to do although WanderersÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ Richard Chipuwa cleared the ball off the line before a free kick from UnitedÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Thoko Stambuli grazed his upright after break.
WanderersÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ Foster Namwela and his last line defended solidly.
United were visibly missing midfield inspiration from their suspended Jimmy Chikulekule.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“We did not have someone to come from the deep and put away the chances. We can as well say bye to our championship dream,Ã¢â‚¬Â Elia Kananji, UnitedÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s coach, said after the game whereas his Wanderers counterpart Frank Ã¢â‚¬ËœNdauÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ Ndawa declared that his charges will fight Ã¢â‚¬Å“until the last bulletÃ¢â‚¬Â.
In other games, Silver beat Moyale Barracks 4-1 to remain second on 45 points as of Saturday. Mafco FC handed Azam Tigers a second consecutive 1-0 defeat in Chitowe Stadium, Dwangwa whereas Cobbe Barracks fell 2-4 to Civo in Zomba. Civo moved up to third on 44 points with two games to go.