Quick action by alert onlookers yesterday saved a Mpika man from being killed by angry soccer fans who noticed him celebrating Italy triumph over Zambia in the quarter final of the Under-20 World Cup played in South Korea.

According to eyewitnesses, trouble started soon after the referee blew the final whistle when a man who was part of the crowd watching the game in Pamoja bar at Shangai market in Mpika went outside to celebrate.

The witness narrated that the man was supporting Italy throughout the match, much to the annoyance of Chipolopolo fans, and at the end of of the game, rushed outside to rejoice a 3 – 2 defeat for Zambia.

Upset with the man’s conduct, added the eyewitness, the mob zoomed in on him and gave him a thorough beating.

The angry Chipolopolo fans left a cut on the man’s cheek and a swollen head.

Some alert onlookers and bar attendants came to the man’s rescue and whisked him to his house.

“Had it not been for our swift action to save the man, he would have been beaten to death because people were very depressed with the soccer results and this man was playing with their emotions,” said Sydney Chansa, one of the bystanders who rescued the man from the angry mob.