Battle for semi-final berth in Malawi Standard Bank knockout Cup rolls off this Saturday

Serious battle for stakes in the Standard Bank Knock-out Cup rolls off this weekend as four teams open the two-day quarter-final line-up on Saturday.

Blantyre United host Silver Strikers at Kalulu Stadium in a do or die encounter at Kalulu stadium in Ntchalo while Civo will play host to Big Bullets at Civo stadium on Saturday.

Blantyre United Technical Director Lawson Nakoma says the youngsters respect the bankers but do not fear them.

“For us to win a cup or even the league we have to go through these big and tough teams.

Silver care coaches: Stain Chirwa (right) and Francis  Songo centre ready for epic battle
Silver care coaches: Stain Chirwa (right) and Francis Songo centre ready for epic battle

“This is an opportunity for us to showcase our skills and show that we’re up for big-time tournaments, so we’re not scared at all. We just have to respect them and approach the game as matured people,” said Nakoma.

On the other hand, Bankers coach Stain Chirwa is well aware of his team’s cup jinx but remains optimistic silver could end their trophy drought via this tournament.

“I guess that’ll be the case. Cup competitions have eluded us and it seems that we concentrated on the league but this time around we’ve worked hard to see how best and how far we can go in the cup competition,” said Chirwa.

Elsewhere, Civo defender Pilirani Makupe said morale in their camp ahead of the crucial cup tie is very high and they expecting nothing but a win over the people’s team.

“We’ve prepared for this game the way we prepare for any other match but being a cup tie the anticipation is a little bit different.

“We’re struggling in the league but we’ve discussed among ourselves to pull up our socks, especially for this match. As you know we now have a new coach so we’ve put everything in God’s hands while determined to do a good job,” said Makupe.

Big Bullets coach Eddingtone Ng’onamo says although Civo are struggling in the league, they will be tough to beat at home.

“Well it’s a crucial match and I know that Civo are preparing for us but we’re also preparing for them and we’re ready for the battle on Saturday,” said Ng’onamo.

Sunday’s action sees the last pair of quarter-finals take centre stage as Kamuzu Barracks take on Moyale Barracks at Civo Stadium Red Lions at Balaka while Mighty Wanderers meet Stadium.

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