Giants Big Bullets and Silver Strikers were on Saturday, August 8, 2015 given some food for thought ahead of their Carlsberg Cup semi-final meet next weekend when they both failed to progress to the final of the K3.5 million Inter-City Charity Football Tournament underway at Civo Stadium in Lilongwe.
Fans from the two soccer power houses can, however, take some solace in the fact that both teams featured under strength sides while their opponents had full strength squads.
First to bow out were central giants, Silver, who succumbed to a 3-0 beating at the hands of their city rivals Civil Service United (Civo).
The servants from Capital Hill were home and dry by the break as they led 2-0- courtesy of a strike by Charles Chilembo and another one from the spot kick by Nelson Kangunje.
Featuring goalkeeper Bester Phiri, who is set to join the side from Mighty Be Forward Wanderers, the Central Bankers suffered a major blow when defender Mike Robert was given marching orders after an open-boot tackle on a Civo player.
Raphael Phiri sealed victory for the servants with the third goal.
After the city derby, newly crowned SARPCO champions Blue Eagles took to the turf against the all- conquering Bullets. Despite the ‘People’s team’ playing without key stars like Fischer Kondowe, Mussa Manyenje, Jafali Chande, Bashir Maunde, Yamikani Fodya, James Chilapondwa, Dalitso Sailesi and Sankhani Mkandawire, the game had all the ingredients of a thriller with goals coming after almost every quarter of an hour.
Bullets drew first blood after seven minutes through their new recruit from Mzuzu University (Mzuni) Niyikiza Aimable’s header before John Malidadi Junior responded for the cops 10 minutes later.
Jelesi Lufeyo restored Bullets’ lead four minutes to the break with a brilliantly taken free kick but it was short-lived again as Wister Phiri levelled on the dot of half time.
The second half saw Eagles taking the lead through John Banda but the lead was cancelled out by a Diverson Mlozi close-range strike.
After a three-all draw in regulation time, the game went straight into penalty shoot-outs. Bullets scored their first three penalties through Pilirani Zonda, Aimable and Amod Khamula but McFallen Ngwira had his penalty kick saved by John Soko while Jelesi Lufeyo struck against the crossbar. Eagles converted their first two penalties through Osward Maonga and Tsanzo Dalio but Schumaker Kuwali took their third completely wide.
John Banda and Wister Phiri converted the last two kicks for the cops to give them a 4-3 victory and 7-6 win on aggregate.
Eagles and Civo will now battle for the K2 million winner’s purse on Sunday, August 9, 2015 with Bullets and Silver fighting for third-place in a dress rehearsal for the Carlsberg Cup semi-final encounter involving the two teams scheduled for Kamuzu Stadium this coming Saturday.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :