Salima based soldiers, Airborne Rangers, who play in the Central Region Chipiku Premier League, are through to the quarter finals of the prestigious FISD Challenge Cup after beating Ipota Shooting Stars from Karonga by a single goal to nil on Saturday at Mzuzu Stadium.
Ipota Shooting Stars were first to settle into the game as they exchanged passes from one player to another brilliantly on the floor but they lacked the final kill.
A fierce attack by Olembe Macheso of Airborne Rangers in the 21st minute ended with the ball being cleared off the goal line by a defender for Ipota Shooting Stars with goalkeeper Stanley Mwandira already beaten.
The stars from Karonga had their closest chance in the 33rd minute when Blessings Khoza solely broke Airborne Rangers defence but goalkeeper Christopher Kalira was clever enough to come off his line in time and grab the ball from his feet. The two teams went for recess with no goals on either side.
The two teams came neck to neck in the second half but goals continued to be very scarce.
Gerald Kayira’s cross in the 78th minute was so intelligent but when it came into the 18 metre box Blessings Khozani failed to tap it into Airborne Rangers net.
Airborne Rangers scored their only goal ten minutes before full time. Emmanuel Chipeta beautifully connected a cross from Gift Zumazuma on the left flank. 1 nil it ended.
Ipota Shooting Stars coach, Wakisa Mwambetania, praised his charges for a gallant fight to reach this far.
“I knew we would bow out because of those clear chances that missed. We were playing an experienced side. Ours is a youthful squad which competes only in our district. We don’t even play in the SISMSO Premier League. Congratulations to Airborne Rangers,” said Mwambetania.
The winning coach, Charles Banda, said cup games are always tough.
“We didn’t know this team at all and in the first half we were playing against a strong wind but I am happy we have won. Ipota is good side. We will prepare well for the quarter finals,” he said.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :