Silver Strikers season suffered a new low on Wednesday as the Bankers failed to reach the FISD Challenge Cup round of 16 after being knocked out by 10 men Mafco FC 3-2 at Silver Stadium in Lilongwe.
Salima based soldiers were lucky to pull the major upset as the referee Andy Kuseli was so disorganised on his decision making.
Mafco were reduced to 10 men in the 39th minute when referee Kuseli had shown a second yellow card to Ranken Mwale for a bookable offence and later their Coach, Temwa Msuku was sent to the stands for shouting foul from the touchline.
They had to endure 51 minutes in the hot afternoon in order to contain Silver who have been in uncompromising mood having already bagged the Airtel Top 8 trophy and are currently second in the Super League, having been unbeaten in 20 matches.
Mafco went into lead in the 28th minute when Emmanuel Chipeta tapped in a crossing beating Silver’s out of form keeper Blessings Kameza.
Malawi Defence Force (MDF) outfit doubled the scores in the 32nd minute when Saidi Mtekema planted home a rebound after Silver’s keeper, Kameza had fumbled Stain Malata’s free kick.
Six minutes to break, Mafco were reduced to 10 men when striker Mwale was sent off.
Sensing danger, Silver’s technical panel made a double substitution they brought in Levison Maganizo and Binwell Katinji for Mark Fodya and Timothy Chitedze.
The soldiers were home and dry at half time as they maintained their two goal lead.
Mafco’s right back, Zikhole Nguluwe stretched the lead to 3-0 when his seemingly harmful direct free kick eluded Kameza in the 47th minute.
In the 53rd minute, Silver’s Victor Limbani pulled one back after outpacing Mafco’s central defenders Stain Malata and Morris Chiumia.
Silver’s second half substitute Ronald Mangani reduced the arrears in the 69th minute when he drove a stunner which beat Mafco goalie, Jailosi Kapamula to make it 2-3.
The goal gave Silver zeal to surge forward through Mangani and Katinji but Mafco defence remained solid with “bus parking” strategy.
“I think we lost the game on the first half. We did not play as a team,” Silver’s Team Manager, Francis Songo admitted.
He said the team played as if we were playing a league game forgotten that this was cup knockout game.
Mafco assistant coach, Gift Mbwana pointed out that they are targeting to win the cup.
“We could have won the game with three or four goals but the referee spoiled the game. All the same we are looking for our next opponent in the cup,” he sounded.
He commended Mafco players for giving absolutely everything for the game , saying they deserve credit.
Mafco, whose chances of winning the TNM Super League title, have diminished as they trail leaders Be Forward Wanderers by 16 points, will aim to end the season on a successful note by winning the Fisd Cup.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :