Substitute Blessings Tembo’s 83rd minute goal handed Silver Strikers a Fisd Challenge Cup quarterfinal blessing yesterday while cursing Nyasa Big Bullets into a 0-1 loss, their first this season at Kamuzu Stadium in all competitions.
With the teams meeting again at Silver Stadium this Sunday in a potentially-decisive match for the TNM Super League championship race, the giants opted to feature fringe players.
The move backfired for Bullets, who hardly registered a shot on target. The late introduction of Henry Kabichi, Collen Nkhulambe and Diverson Mlozi for Tilekeleni Joseph, Musa Manyenje and debutant Milanzi, respectively, failed to change the complexion of the cagey affair.
After a goalless first half of few chances and mere isolated sparks of individual brilliance, winger Duncan Nyoni danced past Kanyenda on the corner flag before dispatching a low ball which Tembo glanced to the far post of Bullets’ goalkeeper, Chimwemwe Kumkwawa.
That proved to be the only goal of the match with Bullets’ Team Manager, Rahim Ishmael, admitting that it was not their day whereas Silver’s Technical Director, Young Chimodzi, hailed his charges.
“We struggled to create chances in the first half but when we made the changes in the second half, we attacked more and the result speaks for itself. We are happy to progress to the quarterfinals,” Chimodzi said.
At Civo Stadium in Lilongwe, Bullets’ rivals, Be Forward Wanderers thrashed lower leaguers, Lake Valley FC, 5-0 to clinch a quarterfinal berth with Zolozolo FC, thanks to goals from Peter Wadabwa (a brace), Jabulani Linje, Mike Kaziputa and Khumbo Ng’ambi.
It was an easy afternoon for the Nomads, who handed a debut to goalkeeper, Etoga Noah Hamza with the Cameroonian replacing veteran Vales Kamzere in the second half.
Lake Valley, coached by ex-Epac’s mentor, Abas Makawa, lacked the will and fighting spirit to win the game.
Elsewhere in the cup, Blue Eagles dumped out struggling Civo United with a 1-0 victory at Nankhaka Stadium in Lilongwe, thanks to Vitumbiko Kumwenda’s strike.
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