Mponela United FC are through to the Carlsberg Cup quarterfinals after crashing visiting Mzuzu University, Mzuni 3-0 in a round-of-16 tie played at Silver Stadium in Lilongwe on Saturday, August 17, 2013.
The result could, however, be misleading as the University students put up an impressive show in the first half, in which they forced the TNM Super League rookies to a nil-all draw.
Things only turned sour for the students 15 minutes after restart when a mix up in their defence saw Frazer Menyani head in the first goal for Mponela following a free-kick by substitute Hudson Mpina.
Menyani was again on target seven minutes later, heading in a corner kick by Gerald Mwanza. The Mponela marksman would have claimed a hat-trick two minutes later but his strike from another header was ruled out for off-side.
With five minutes remaining on the clock, Mude Jeffrey sealed the students’ fate with an intelligent strike after breaking through on the left.
With a quarter-final place sealed, Mponela coach Benjamin Mhango rested goalkeeper Charles Chipeta for Blessings Kachala.
“We had a bad first half but after telling the boys to keep their heads during pep-talk, things improved in the second half and we got three goals,” sai Kumwenda after the final whistle.
His counterpart Alex Ngwira conceded defeat saying his charges lost composure at the back.
“We played well in the first half but our defending and goalkeeping was not good enough in the second half, in which we conceded all the three goals. Anyway, this was a learning process for us and we have learnt quite a number of things,” said Ngwira.
With the win, Mponela will host the winner between Blantyre United and Civo United, who clash in a lunch hour fixture at Kamuzu Stadium Sunday.
In other round-of-16 clashes, Kamuzu Barracks edged Blue Eagles 4-3 to set up a mouth-watering quarter-final home tie against Big Bullets, who edged Silver Strikers 1-0 at the Kamuzu Stadium.
Moyale Barracks cruised to a 3-0 victory over Kabwafu FC and will face the winner between Azam Tigers in the quarterfinals.
All the quarterfinals will be played on Wednesday and Thursday next week.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :