Standard Bank Knock-Out Cup defending champions Silver Strikers’ dreams of defending the title vanished into thin air on Saturday, September 26, 2015 when the Central Bankers slumped to a 1-0 home defeat at the hands of city neighbours Blue Eagles in a tense quarterfinal match played before a good crowd at Silver Stadium in Lilongwe.
Fresh from three straight league victories against Mzuni, Moyale Barracks and Dedza Young Soccer, the Central Bankers stepped onto their Area 47 back yard beaming with full confidence but failed to unlock the police cell holding keys for a semi-final slot.
On several occasions, the hosts had the opportunity to put the ball into the net but they squanderers all the chances with their experienced striker Peter Wadabwa standing out as the major culprit.
Having failed to take their first half chances, the Bankers were to pay dearly midway into the second half, when Gilbert Chirwa claimed the priceless goal after heading in a free-kick by John Banda, which was first flicked by John Junior Malidadi.
The Bankers tried all they could to level the scores but the cops defence was not in any comprising mood to allow them an equaliser.
The result means Blue Eagles will now face Mighty Be Forward Wanderers in the semi-finals. Wanderers’ booked their semi-final berth after edging Red Lions by a similar margin.
Commenting after the match, Eagles’ assistant coach Wilson Chidati hailed his charges playing their lungs out to get rid of the defending champions.
“It was not an easy match but hard work has paid out for us,” said Chidati.
Silver’s team manager Francis Songo said it was painful for the defending champions to lose at such a stage.
“It’s a very painful defeat for us. We had chances to bury the game in the first half but we squandered all the chances. That’s what happens when you fail to take your chances,” lamented Songo.