By Inno Chanza.
The climax of Zambia and Malawi rivalry reached its zenith on this fateful night. Zambia just coming from the 1988 Soul Olympics where they clobbered European teams including Italy 4-0 came back and were facing a star-studded Malawi in the “final of all finals”.
Mark Gleeson probably the greatest reporter that Africa has ever seen… covered the epic final.
Malawi was trailing 1-0 to a Beston Chambeshi first half goal.
Gleeson’s famous heading in Johannesburg Sun Newspaper was “Malawi Comes Back From The Grave.”
Malawi was piling pressure in the second half… but chances for an equaliser were looking so remote that the local fans started leaving the Kamuzu Stadium after the 76th minute.
On the 81st minute… Holman Malunga on a counter, picked the ball on the right wing…. racing with it… occassionary lifting his head to peep, if anyone was making a run…particularly Frank Pilato Sinalo was was waving a hand for an arial ball.
And of course… Holman Malunga unleashed a cross that was never… to be seen again in Malawi.. the diving header that resulted from the legendary Frank PILATO Sinalo ,,,,left the Zambian goalie David Effort Chabala for dead…. the powerful header shaking and tearing the back of the Zambian net.
The deafening sound that resulted confirmed and put to rest belief that the old Rangeley Stadium could collapse one day. Truly if it never collapsed on this very emotional night and survived the thumping feet of excited Nyasas…. that night… surely it shall never collapse.
Those who had left the stadium making their way home…. We are now pleased to let you know their coordinates… when this one million dollar goal was being scored.
The Ndirande guys were somewhere near B&C.
The Soche area guys were crossing Naperi river …behind Chichiri Prison.
The disgruntled Chilomoni guys were around Universal Biscuits Ginnery Corner.
And in unison after the deafening noise from the stadium… they all instinctively using their reflexes …turned around ..started running back to the stadium…where they found Malawi like wounded animal ..wave after wave hitting Zambia.. which had come from Olympics where it conquered the world.
The Zambians had a banner… “We were in Soul for the World to see… We are in Africa for Africa to learn.”
That night the Mighty Lord was Malawian and the mother all comebacks was witnessed when the mighty Zambians suffered a 3-1 defeat.
The FAM chairman at that time was the great Justice Richard Banda and Secretary General was Ishmael Khamisa. The Mayor of Blantyre was Chasowa.
These were all patriots who assisted not only in football but also in national building.
Now we have parasites at FAM… Water and cronies trying to enrich themselves at the expense of national glory. That’s why the legends and Lesoma will not rest till we remove these weevils.
In the pic patriots…. is the legendary Frank Pilato Sinalo … after his diving header… the ball in the net…and the dazzled Zambian goalie… Effort Chabala.