I was up early on Sunday as Chigoli had an away game in Kasunga. We went to the community ground to meet the coach & players. I was glad to be in the car with Scotty & piling on to the minibus for the journey in the heat couldn't have been fun. It was bad enough at school getting the minibus to Walkergate, let along 2hrs in the baking heat there & back!
When we arrived no one came to greet us, so we inspected the pitch ourselves. I say pitch in the loosest possible terms. I'm not sure what the standard of pitches are in other parts of Africa but there is no chance I would have played on that. Forget the slant and slope common enough at home. One section of the pitch had no grass and had bricks sticking out the ground. Other parts had grass so think it was chin high.
The game itself was a travesty, corruption for all to see as the referee and linesman provided by the home team gave every decision their way. Somehow Chigoli came in 1-0 up at half time. In the second half though they equalised and then the ref really came into his own. After signalling 4minutes added time he awarded us our 2nd free kick of the game & then a corner. By this stage we were in the 8th minute of added time. Sure enough Kasungu broke away & played the ball forward. Scotty & I were stood directly behind the linesman who suspiciously did not put his flag up for the offside and they scored the winning goal. 10minutes of added time had been played at least at this point. What followed next was pandemonium as one of our coaches had to stop a local fella from punching the ref. The home fans were as outraged as we were with that shocking performance by the ref, that saw 3 of our players booked. Our lads surrounded the ref twice & there was a nasty atmosphere in the air at the end of the game. At the time I was taken a bit a back as I cudn't understand what was being said. The atmosphere was quite intimidating. I kept the kids separate from the opposing to that were celebrating in front of them.
The drive back to Lilongwe was a quiet one as Tom, Scotty & I were all of the same opinion & frustrated.
When back Scotty was popping round to chat to Don's dad. I shared a tuk tuk with Amir to Mabuya Camp. Kelly was working behind the bar & Cornelia joined us for drinks. Later Caitlin arrived with her fella, already well served, which was quite amusing. We watched a few games of pool before Amir & I beat Caitlin & her lad at doubles. Amir is rubbish at pool so it was difficult even though they were intoxicated.