Silver Strikers FC Sunday, August 28, 2016 booked a Carlsberg Cup final berth against Mighty Be Forward Wanderers after thoroughly beating Mafco 3-1 in a thrilling semi-final match played before a large crowd at Civo Stadium in Malawi’s capital Lilongwe.
This was a good revenge for the Central Bankers, who had their dreams of finishing the TNM Super League first round on top shattered after being crashed 3-0 by the Soccer Instructors from Malawi Armed Forces College (Mafco) at Chitowe Stadium in Dwangwa earlier this month.
For the soldiers, it was the end of a fairly-tale that fairly-tale that saw them making headlines for both good and bad reasons, having eliminated giants Big Bullets from the Carlsberg race at the same venue, just days after being slapped with a heavy punishment by Football Association of Malawi (Fam) for physically manhandling Bullets’ players at Chitowe.
Back onto the field at Civo, the Soccer Instructors from Salima played second fiddle to the Bankers right from the start as the opponents blazed from all possible angles.
The absence of three key players- Richard Mbulu, Stain Malata and Paul Ndlovu, suspended after the Chitowe fracas could be clearly felt in the Instructors’ camp and it was by sheer luck the soldiers escaped unhurt in the first 45 minutes.
It was in the second half, precisely after 62 minutes that the soldiers finally succumbed to the pressure as Victor Limbani beat goalkeeper Dalitso Makunganya with a close range drive after being set by Binwell Katinji.
Limbani was on the score-sheet again four minutes later, beating Makunganya with a well calculated shot from just outside the 18-yard box after a mix-up in Mafco’s defence.
Patrick Masanjala reduced the arrears for Mafco with a close-range connection before Silver defender Mike Robert sealed the soldiers’ fate with a long ranger in the dying minutes.
Silver’s coach Lovemore Fazili was on cloud nine after the whistle, saluting his charges for a mission well accomplished.
“I’m very happy with what the boys have done. They were very committed and played according to our game plan. We pressurised Mafco from the start to finish and could have won this game by a wider margin,” said Fazili.
The Silver mentor sounded a warning to the Bankers’ final opponents- Be Forward Wanderers to expect a similar situation in the final at Kamuzu Stadium on September 10, 2016.
Mafco chairman Captain Peter Ng’oma did not have much to say other than accepting the defeat.
“It is painful to lose but we have to accept Silver Strikers played much better than us. We just wish them all the best in the final,” said Ng’oma.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :