It is now two teams from the northern region that have qualified for the Carlsberg Cup national phase. After Mchengautuba United on Wednesday, Ekwendeni Hammers came on to eliminate Rumphi United through post match penalties on Thursday at Mzuzu Stadium.
Just 35 seconds into the game, Kumbukani Botha for Ekwendeni Hammers received the ball from kick off on the centre spot and dribbled past a number of opponents before unleashing a rocket from long range which saw goalkeeper Rumbani Mzembe clueless as Hammers took a very early lead.
Rumphi United came back into the game and dominated possession but the solid defence of Ekwendeni Hammers could not allow them an equaliser until the half time whistle.
Six minutes from recess, Rumphi United launched a fierce attack on the right that allowed Gerald Ngwira to connect a decent cross with his head into Ekwendeni Hammers’ net for an early second half equaliser.
The two teams fought tooth and nail for a winner but 90 minutes remained elusive and referee Misheck Juba had to call for post match penalties.
Jacob Tembo and Gerald Ngwira missed the first and fourth penalty, respectively, for RumphiUnited while Wellington Mkanda and Jona Nyirenda managed to beat goalkeeper Frank Kayira. Rumphi United only converted twice from spot kicks.
Ekwendeni Hammers scored four times from the penalty spot through Bright Mhone, Saviour Tchaula, Kumbukani Botha and Joseph Mbewe. Robert Mphezi missed the third penalty for Hammers.
It therefore ended 4-2 in favour of Ekwendeni Hammers after the penalties.
Rumphi United coach, Sam Mabangwe, praised his charges for playing a good game and congratulated Ekwendeni Hammers for sailing through.
The winning coach, Obvious Banda, said it was a very tough game.
“United played a very good attacking game and that’s why they equalised. We have been luckyto win on penalties. We will intensify our preparations for the national phase of this cup,” explained Banda.
The Northern Region Football Association (NRFA) is waiting with keen interest, results of the game between Chitipa United and Baka City which will be played on Saturday in Karonga.
The winner of this game will play Manyamula United of Mzimba next Wednesday at Mzuzu Stadium to determine the third team that will represent the northern region at the national phase of the 2018 edition of the Carlsberg CupFollow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :