Chitipa United are the northern region FISD Challenge Cup champions after emphatically beating Mchengautuba United 3-1 in the regional finals that took place on Saturday at Mzuzu Stadium before a mammoth crowd.
Mchengautuba United were first to settle into the game and enjoyed a lion’s share of possession for about the first 25 minutes.
But after defending and containing the pressure, Chitipa United started attacking seriously in order to get an opener.
Dread rocked midfield maestro, Emmanuel Muyira, broke through on the left and tossed the ball into the 18 metre box for his captain Irvin Mwandepeka to tap the ball past goalkeeper Kondwani Chima in the 37th minute to put Chitipa United in front.
Two minutes later, clever footed Christopher Mtambo, single handed, unlocked Mchengautuba United defence and managed to beat the advancing goalkeeper and comfortably slotted the ball into the empty net for Chitipa boys to lead 2 nil until recess.
In the second half, the boys from Chitipa continued to enjoy their game with brilliant passes and comfortable possession.
In the 70th minute, towering striker Khumbo Banda received the ball inside the centre circle, beat one Mchengautuba United centre back and raced on to unleash a shot at goal which was blocked by the goalkeeper but when the piece of leather went up, Khumbo Banda nodded it into the unguarded net. 3 nil to Chitipa United.
But three minutes into the added time, Chitipa United goalkeeper Jeremiah Simfukwe fouled striker Joel Jere in the 18 metre box, forcing referee Newton Nyirenda to point at the deadly spot. Steve Madimba scored the consolation goal for Mchengautuba United from the penalty spot for the game to end at 1-3 in favour of the visitors, Chitipa United.
Chitipa United were issued a 1 million Kwacha cheque and have qualified for the national phase of the tournament.
Speaking to Nyasa Times after the match, Mchengautuba United coach Victor Mhone congratulated Chitipa United for emerging regional champions and wished them well at national phase.
“We lost concentration along the way because we didn’t prepare thoroughly. We wish Chitipa United all the best at national level and we hope they will represent the region very well,” said Mhone.
Chitipa Unite coach, Robert Mziza, said it was not easy but there was tactical discipline in his squad hence the win.
“I know it will be tough at national phase but my boys have the heart to deliver and we will prepare thoroughly,” he said.
Marketing and Communications Manager for FISD Limited Company, Wezzie Benson Chiumia, said he was happy that up to this far, the FISD Challenge Cup has been violent free.
“We sponsor football to give back to Malawians who give us business. Through the tournament we are reaching out to our customers for them to know what we offer and to develop the game of football. We are meeting both objectives of developing the game and making sure that Malawians are food secure,” explained Chiumia.
Earlier on, Ipota Shooting Stars of Karonga beat Katoto United of Mzuzu City 5-4 on post match penalties in inter-district finals after a goalless 90 minutes. They too got 1 million Kwacha and will continue with the tournament at national phase.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :