Its Silver vs Wanderers in Standard Bank Cup final: Malawi battle of soccer gaints

Silver Strikers FC yesterday set up another Standard Bank Cup final against cup holders Mighty ‘Nyerere’ Wanderers after edging their city neighbours Civo United 2-1 in a semi-final match played before a good crowd at Silver Stadium on Sunday, October 27, 2013.

Having watched Nyerere unsettle soldiers from Kamuzu Barracks with an early strike at the same the previous day, both teams came with the intention of getting an early net yawning but no goals came until the closing moments of the first half.

Marksman Green Harawa shot the bankers ahead three minutes to the break with a fine first-time connection after receiving a back-heel pass from substitute Chawanangwa Kaonga.

Kaonga had just gone in for Madalitso Chiumia before setting up Harawa for the opener,  which exposed some poor timing on the part of Civo goalkeeper Duncan Mkandawire.

Silver players celebrate first goal, Pic Leonard Sharra, Nyasa Times

Silver players celebrate first goal, Pic Leonard Sharra, Nyasa Times

Civo were dealt a severe blow in their quest for an equalizer, when Blantyre based female referee Grace Msiska awarded the hosts a penalty six minutes into the second half following a foul on Kaonga by defender Blessings Phiri. Harawa made no mistake the spot kick to make it 2-0.

Shortly after Silver’s second strike, Civo suffered another set-back when their top striker Jabulani Linje was carried off-the field in an unconscious state after landing awkwardly on the ground.

Coach Oscar Kaunda replaced the injured striker with Noel ‘Amfumu’ Mkandawire and at the same time pushed in Wyson Nkhana and Asedi Ajasi for Lawrence Mwehiwa and Blessings Phiri.

The move paid off in the 64 minute- when the visitors won a penalty following a handball by Silver defender Thoko Stambuli. Captain Patrick Gunde beat Flames’ custodian Charles Swini from the spot.

Kaonga had the ball in his former team’s net 11 minutes to full time but the goal was ruled out for off-side by Msiska, who brilliantly handled the game.

Civo coach onceded defeat after the whistle, blaming it all on failure by his charges to take the early chances.

“We had chances early in the game but we failed to score. When Silver went two up, things became more difficult us,” lamented Kaunda.

His counterpart Stain Chirwa saluted his charges for playing according to instructions, hoping the bankers would finally get it right against Wanderers in the final on November 2, 2013.

“We will be more prepared against Wanderers this time round and I hope we will get things right,” he said.

Desparation, Civo makes a tripple tripple substitution , Pic Leonard Sharra, Nyasa Times

Desparation, Civo makes a tripple tripple substitution , Pic Leonard Sharra, Nyasa Times

Referee Grace Msiska attends to injured Chawangangwa Kaonga, Pic Leonard Sharra, Nyasa Times

Referee Grace Msiska attends to injured Chawangangwa Kaonga, Pic Leonard Sharra, Nyasa Times

Unconscious Jabulani Linje is taken to hospital, Pic Leonard Sharra, Nyasa Times

Unconscious Jabulani Linje is taken to hospital, Pic Leonard Sharra, Nyasa Times

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