Saudi Arabia based professional Kelvin ‘Malaza’ Mutale fired home a hat-trick against Mauritius at King George IV stadium to rekindle Zambia’s Africa cup qualifying hopes.
Mutale of Saudi’s top club El-Ettifaq showed no mercy to the Mauritians in 8 attempts at goal ,he converted three in the 26th, 33rd and 89th minutes to shoot Zambia to the top of the table in the Group Five series.
The ‘thriller in Mauritius’ saw Zambia take total commend of the game after the Indian Ocean islanders had shown some signs of confidence when their striker attempted to score after seven minutes into the game.
The well rehearsed move that provoked Zambia into action came off the right rear off Sylvain Content and evolved Mauritius Belgian club side Antwerp professional Willy Vincent.
The low drive off Ithier sparked a hell of fire from the angry Zambians who swung into serious action .
Mutale, receiving a steady flow of passes from the mid field engine room manned by Wisdom Chansa and the combination of Numba Mwila and Moses Chikwalakwala on the wings drilled holes in the Mauritian defence.
Mutale pounded the side netting soon after his first attempts. Minutes later Mutale shot hit the post but Derby Makinka stumbled on the rebound as the score board remained unchanged.
As Zambian’s slowed the game the Mauritians took charge and studied the situation. Eric Philogenic ,the man who scored for Mauritius in the 1-2 loss in Lusaka in August attempted a long drive after being completely blanketed out, David ‘Efford’ Chabala easily took his shot with a smile of a save. There after, the Mauritians went into siesta – the defense forgot about Mutale’s presence.
Mutale broke away from the pack and set out with Makinka in a twin run. Makinka set wide and drew Mauritian goal keeper William Residue, fained an attempt at goal and sent the ball to Mutale who toyed around with defender Daniel Moonsamy and slamming home for the match opener.
The goal unsettled the Mauritians who had hoped against hope for a Lusaka repeat when they scored in the first minute.
In the 33rd minute Mutale classically dribbled his way pass the entire Mauritian defense to net his 2nd of the match after sending Residue in the wrong direction.
Mauritians came into the 2nd half searching for an early goal but blundered when they put an extra man in defence to police the Zambian scoring machine.
Kabwe Warriors winger Timothy ‘Teacher’ Mwitwa who came in for Mumba Mwila tried one of his long sole runs Residue cleverly cut the chipped short before it could get knocked into the net.
With little action in second half Zambian goalkeeper Chabala went on holiday enjoying the Indian Ocean weather except in one of the dull moments when he was forced to pursue Ithier who had surprised even himself to break rules Residue, Chabala’s opposite was meanwhile kept busy and in the 67th minute Mutale voted Man of the Match by Mauritian sports journalist and commentators took 3 dramatic shot at goal.
One went wide the 2nd rebounded off residue with the third being stopped in a daring save by the Mauritian custodian.
But Residue ad too much for one man. Mutale secured his third goal.
Meanwhile the team was cheered by two Zambian students Eddie Chikampe and Dayton Makusa who studying engineering at the Mauritius University. The two were waving the Zambian flag as Mutale teared the home side defence.
[Beauty Lupiya l Times of Zambia l 26th April 1993]