BY BANTHU REPORTER 10/02/2014
Muzipasi Mwangonde second-half Blue Bullets fourth goal was what was needed to give the Blue Rebels a sweet victory against the Red Rebels, when the two teams were tied 3 all following a Naomi Fatchi first half treble and comeback treble for the Blue Bullets in the second half.
This was a Special Olympics Malawi unified match played at Civo stadium and involved people with various physical and intellectual challenges, public office holders and several African football legends as Malawi Monday holds an African Leaders Forum on people with disabilities in Lilongwe.
The Match saw the participation of South African legends Phil Masinga, Mark Fish and Malawi’s Peter Mponda, Hellings Mwakasungula, Fischer Kondowe, Andrew Chikhosi amongst others played alongside Mphatso Banda and several other people with various challenges played for the Red Team.
Malawis own Ernest Mtawali, Lawrence Waya, Macdonald Yobe, multi-talented Towera Vinkhumbo, Daniel Sithole amongst others featured for the Blue team.
With the referee kicking off the game, it was all the red team that dominated proceedings in the first half and sent a clear warning when Towera Mphande hit the crossbar in the first minute.
The Blue side retaliated when Mponda put on an accurate through ball but his fellow blue player could not get in time before the ball crossed the touch line.
However, the Red Rebels domination of the game was rewarded when Naomi Fatchi put them forward with a goal just after ten minutes in the first half. Her second goal on 17 minutes sent shivers in the Blue team and when she struck in the third after 25 minutes, it looked all over for the Blue side.
To the surprise of the audience, a seemingly rejuvenated Blue team pulled one back through a 6 minute penalty when Phil Masinga pushed off Mwangonde on the ball. Minutes later, the Bullets pulled another one back and just after 16 minutes the bullets had their equalizer.
With a treble for both sides, it took Mwangonde to separate the two sides with a deep in the second half goal, 4 – 1 it ended in favor of the Blue Bullets.
Masinga, who wore the Red shirt, said that he felt honored to be part of the event and despite his side’s loss, everyone was a winner.
“I feel much honoured to have participated in this and actually when I was invited I could not say no because back home I have my younger brother who is intellectually disabled and I know how we grew up together. I had to look after him, everywhere I went I had to make sure that he is always safe with me that coming here to give a hand on a good cause will always bring satisfaction to me.
“I don’t think we have lost but rather we have all won because we have all done something that is good and we have to be advocates and tell the whole world that being intellectually challenged does not mean you are a nobody but rather we have to give them support,” he said.
Masinga subsequently committed himself to future good causes: “I would always be available if need arises and I do not even do it for money, and this is free because I voluntarily decided to come here and participate in this event,” he said.
Former Flames player and a household name in Malawi’s football Ernest Mtawali said taking part in the event was one way of giving back to the community.
“We have played football for a very long time and I think at times when you at reach my age it becomes time you give back to the community.
“We must think the state president and the first gentleman for what they have done for Special Olympics Malawi. This is a great initiative. You can see one of the guys who scored three goals in our team has got potential to play football that I think it is about time that we encourage people who are disabled,” said Mtawali.