Silver Strikers are through to the next phase of the ongoing prestigious Presidential Cup after a battling win against Epac FC on Friday June 12th, 2013 at the Civo Stadium in Lilongwe.
A beautiful goal from Jester Mlima, who received a descent ball from Rodrick Gonani just 24 seconds into the match, probably the fastest in the tournament, handed the Bankers a sweet victory in a capital city derby and set up a tie against Bullets FC.
Silver got confidence and enthusiasm from the goal but Epac, who looked a dejected side after conceding the goal, proved to be a force to reckon with as they put up a stiff resistance during the entire match.
Epac lacked killer punch upfront with only Musa Manyenje showing some brilliance as his usual partner and who has always been the teams hit man Ishmael “Mr. Epac” Thindwa was reportedly writing his College examinations.
As Epac looked an improved side midway into the first half, the team suffered a huge setback as their goalkeeper Tione Tembo was shown a red card by referee of the day Duncan Lengani.
Tembo collided with Silver strikers midfielder Ndaona Daisi in an almost off the ball incident.
Supporters felt the marching orders were harsh in what could be a caution offence.
Daisi was substituted straight away and was later taken to hospital to receive a medical treatment.
Both sides tried to create scoring opportunities but they ended up hitting a blank wall.
In the second half, Silver at times had a lion’s share of ball possession with Young Chimodzi Junior and Chikondi Farook Likwemba controlling proceedings on the central midfield out playing Epac F.C led by their evergreen captain Tsanzo Dalio.
Lucky Malata, Mabvuto Khodzomba and Wonderful Tumeyo also defended jealously for the Bankers making sure that Epac do not find the back of the net.
Epac fought bravely and had a late resurgence but failed to get an equaliser. It was a potential banana-skin but Silver made it through unscathed.
At the end of 90 minutes, it was Mlima’s goal that separated men from boys.
Speaking after the match, Epac coach Abba’s Makawa had no kind words for the referee.
“The referee never helped us, he made a number of questionable decision but what else can we say, he has fulfilled his wishes,” said visibly angry Makawa
On the other hand, it was all smiles for his counterpart Franco Ndawa who made his usual remarks of thanking God.
“I am very delighted for the win and I thank God for the win. The boys put up a grand fight and I salute them for their team spirit,” said Ndawa.
Ndawa who led Silver to a successful TNM Super League glory last season said he is optimistic that his team will fight to the end and make sure they win the cup.
The Bankers now turn their attention to Bullets visit on Sunday and the fight for the cup.
Ndawa said: “We respect Bullets as a big team but we do not fear them.”
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