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Airtel calls Blantyre derby

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Blantyre giants Nyasa Big Bullets and Be Forward Wanderers will meet in the semi-final of the Airtel Top 8 Cup slated for June 16.

This follows a draw which was conducted at Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe.

It will be the first time for Wanderers and Bullets to meet in the competition since it was introduced last year.

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The People’s Team will start at home before traveling for the return match.

Bullets progressed to the semi-finals after beating Moyale 1-0 on aggregate whereas Wanderers were 2-0 aggregate winners over Kamuzu Barracks.

The Blantyre derby will be preceded by another potentially exciting semi-final affair between Silver Strikers and Blue Eagles on June 9.

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The Central Bankers will start at home before fulfilling the away fixture.

Silver advanced to the last four with a 2-1 aggregate victory over Capital City rivals Civil Sporting Club whereas Eagles defeated Mafco on a 1-0 aggregate scoreline.

In his reaction to the draw, Wanderers Team Manager, Steve Madeira, said his charges are geared to meet Bullets and make it to the final.

“We are still at pains after losing last year’s final to Silver. We need to clear the first huddle in front of us and for us to win the cup we need to beat teams like Bullets,” Madeira said.

Bullets assistant Coach, Elijah Kananji, said he anticipates a tough encounter.

“Playing against Wanderers is always difficult and tough. But we will work hard to progress to the final,” Kananji said.

Speaking after the draw, Football Association of Malawi (Fam) Competitions Committee Chairperson, Jabba Alide, said the tournament has been exciting and entertaining since it started.

“We have watched exciting matches in this competition and we expect to watch entertaining semifinals. Cup games are always unpredictable and there is no small team,” Alide said.

Meanwhile, Silver and Civil drew one-all in the tournament’s last second leg quarterfinal match at BNS.

Mphatso Philimon scored for Silver with four minutes to full time but Fletcher Bandawe equalised in added time.

Patrick Thupi was named man-of-the-match and got K50,000 from sponsors Airtel.

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