It was not too difficult to tell whose prayers had been answeredÂ as Blantyre United soundly beat a 10-man Escom United 3-1 in a TNM Super League duel played on Saturday at an almost empty Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre.
After hammering the last nail on Escomâ€™s coffin, Brown â€˜Fisi Matamaâ€™ Mizeye pulled his shirt to reveal a vest inscribed â€˜Thank You Jesus.â€™ With that goal, Mizeyeâ€™s personal prayer to scoreÂ was answered.
â€œI prayed that I should score and as you saw, my prayer did not take long to be answered,â€ said Mizeye.
For Mizeye, scoring in the dying minutes to kill off the game as a contest was a matter of routine. But the afternoon belonged to an exciting holding midfielder Osward Maonga who claimed a brace.
Escom has now lostÂ five games on the trot since off-loadingÂ 10 key players . But on Sunday this day further got it wrong in theirÂ obsession with stopping United from dishing their brand of passing football.
Upfront the decision to start with Donsa Joseph and Manase Chiesa at the expense of relatively experienced Chimwemwe Nyakamera defied logic as the strike partnersâ€™ final touches were not up to scratch despite decent deliveries from Kondwani Gawani and Benard Harawa.
Escom pushed United to the corner forÂ long spells of the game, denying them any space and time on the ball and largely forcing them to hurriedly play uncharacteristic long balls.
But such tactics backfired as, despite some speculative attempts, Escom conceded against the run of play with Maonga glancing his header into the net on 44th minute from a Dalitso Sailesi corner kick.
After the break, Escom introduced Nyakamera who only needed five minutes on the pitch to equaliseÂ in the 52nd minute.
But hopes of Escomâ€™s continued fight back vanished in the 69th minute. Abraham Kamwendo of United sent a cross from the right, which was headed against the bar by Muhamad Sulumba and from the rebound, Maonga made no mistake to hit home.
It got worse as defender Oscar Chapitapansi was red carded for foul language on the match commissioner.
The matter was left for Mizeye to conclude as a long range pass from a counter-attack left him with acres of space to slot past Charles Swini. A giant had fallen and United had extended their tally to eight points.