Defending cup champions Mighty ‘Nyerere’ Wanderers became the first team to reach the final for this year’s edition of the K25 million Standard Bank Knock-Out Cup after beating Kamuzu Barracks FC 2-0 in an
exciting semi-final match played a huge crowd at Silver Stadium on Saturday, October 26, 2013.
Having already withdrawn a fat cheque from Standard Bank last year, Nyerere showed their intention of cashing the K8 million cheque dangled by the bank this year, when they swarmed all over the soldiers from the word go.
Their efforts paid off just five minutes into play when wonderboy Mike Kaziputa tampered with the soldiers’ net with a well executed double kick following a cross from Abraham Kamwendo.
Sensing the danger, KB coach Billy Phambala pulled out Benjamin Issa, replacing him with Vincent Mphepo. Nyerere were also forced to make an unplanned substitution following an injury of hard working Timothy Chitedze, who was replaced by Kondwani Kumwenda.
More substitutions followed in the second half with the Nomads bringing in Diverson Chilemba for Abraham Kamwendo while KB exhausted their substitutions by introducing former Nomad Joel Chipofya and Ben
Hojani for Kelvin Malikebu and Julius Nkwinja.
Chipofya came close to leveling the scores on 70 minutes but his long range drive crashed against the crossbar. Wanderers suffered another blow in the 73rd minute when striker Innocent Dzimbiri limped off the field with an injury, paving way for Cuthbert Sinetre.
The game was effectively over as a contest in the 75th minute when Mphepo conceded an own goal after a corner kick by Kaziputa.
Seven minutes of added time by Fifa referee Denis Ngulube could not save the soldiers from army headquarters from defeat.
“We have to accept we have lost and we cannot point fingers at the referee or anybody else. Wanderers’ early goal unsettled us and as we tried to come back into the game, we conceded an own goal. We just wish Wanderers well in the final,” said Kamuzu Barracks’ team manager Francis Shawa after the game.
Wanderers mentor Stewart Mbolembole was all smiles, praising his charges for a grand performance: “I praise the boys and above all God for the great result.
“Discipline has been our main secret in this campaign. We knew that KB’s game is centred on Davie Banda and Harvey Nkacha and told our boys to mark out there guys,” said Mbolembole.
On who he would want to meet in the final between Silver Strikers and Civo, who meet in the second semi-final at the same venue tomorrow, Mbolembole said: “Any other team will be welcome. There is no big or small team in this competition.”Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :