Prior to this highly anticipated clash, it was clear that the game between experienced Prison Leopards and bulldozers Young Green Eagles will be won or lost either by mistake or sheer moment of brilliance and it turned out to be so.
One deep cross from the right flank and bullet header from Roy Sakwanda outside the box was all the visiting Young Eagles needed not only to join Eden leaders Kitwe United for the Absa Cup play-off slot, but to also send a clear statement that they are a team on a mission.
Soccer fans of both teams thronged the Godfrey Chitalu stadium, coming as far as Kitwe and Kafue, and were throughout the game kept on their edges on every sure movement.
That did not spare the coaches either as the all-round heart throbbing game made them find total discomfort in their own seats.
Prison had their share of one on one chances but failed to bury them while their opponents got one chance, scored and protected it with their dear life using all delaying tricks in the book of the game and it worked out for them as they won 1 nil.
All in all, it was one top billing, energy sapping entertaining game played at the highest tempo with a lot of intensity ever seen in the Eden National League.
After the match, Prison Leopards coach Mwenya Chipepo said: “It’s very sad we lost a game [where] we had clear cut chances, especially in the first half, but very poor in our final execution. The win was going to put us in good position for Absa Cup but I still hope that chance is still there and hopefully we can bounce back strongly. We never lose hope.”
And his opposite number, Kelvin Mwaanga, who almost lost his voice due to constant instructions, told Eden sport that he was happy that the game and the goal came as he planned all week long.
“Did you see how I celebrated that goal? Exactly how we planned in our training. Coming here, we knew Leopards were going to be difficult to beat so we crafted our training just the way you saw the goal and the game panning out. As one of the young coaches in the Eden league, I am happy for myself and of course the boys who worked beyond their energy to win this difficult tie,” said Mwaanga.