North and Southern Regions at the weekend suffered heavy losses in the ongoing FISD Challenge Cup Super League Preliminary phase, which has seen only two Southern Region based Super League giants Nyasa Big Bullets and Mighty Be Forward Wanderers surviving with all top league sides from the north perishing.
Moyale Barracks, the Lions of Kaning’ina were the first team from the north to be introduced to the the exit door as they went down 4-3 on post-match penalties at the hands of visiting Epac FC, alias Njenjete zaku Lilongwe after the two teams had played a goal-less draw in regulation time at Mzuzu Stadium on Saturday.
Karonga United and Mzuni followed suit on Sunday after going down to their Blantyre and Lilongwe opponents respectively.
The crocodiles from Karonga found Be Forward Wanderers a tough nut to crack at Kamuzu Stadium as they crashed 3-0 while Mzuni failed yet another test in Lilongwe after losing 2-0 to struggling Civo United at Civo Stadium.
Last week Mzuni came back empty handed from the capital city after losing 2-1 and 1-0 to Silver Strikers and Kamuzu Barracks in the TNM Super League.
Just like the north, Southern Region also suffered three Super League casualties namely Azam Tigers, Premier Bet Wizards and Red Lions.
Tigers were beaten 2-0 by Blue Eagles at Kalulu Stadium on Saturday when Wizards were also led to the exit by giants Nyasa Big Bullets after losing 5-4 in post-match penalties.
The two Blantyre-based sides played a two-all in regulation time at the giant Kamuzu Stadium, forcing the game went into the dreaded shoot-outs, which saw Wizards failing to convert a winning spot kick before losing the plot in sudden-death penalty kicks.
At Balaka Stadium, the once roaring Red Lions from the old capital city failed to roar against Kamuzu Barracks from Lilongwe, who gunned down their fellow soldiers 2-0 to book their place in the last 16 phase.
Mzuni coach Alex Ngwira, speaking after his team’s downfall at Civo said it was sad that all Super League sides from the north were out of the race but expressed hope that the lower league teams from the region that will make it to the last 16 phase will make an impression.
“It is a sad situation but there is nothing we can do about it. On our part, we failed to defend set pieces, which resulted in Civo scoring from a free-kick in the first half and from a throw-in in the second half. We also had some scoring opportunities, which we did not utilise,” said Ngwira.
The eight Super League teams that have made it to the last 16 phase will be joined by eight other teams from the three regional leagues.