Close quarters battle


Lilongwe’s Civo Stadium will turn into a battle field this afternoon as two Malawi Defence Force teams, Moyale and Kamuzu Barracks (KB), will come face to face in the final of the Fisd Challenge Cup.
The two gladiators will showcase their weaponry on the football pitch as they battle for the K15million ultimate prize.
Blazing guns and heavy artillery will be the order of the day at the Lilongwe venue, with tanks and helicopter gunships providing reinforcements.
Trained under the same creed militarily, it will be time for the two sides to outdo each other on the pitch in a battle that will last for a minimum of 90 minutes.
As if by design, both teams made it to the final in similar fashion. Their semifinal matches ended 2-2 in regulation time and 5-4 on postmatch penalties.
Heading into the match, Moyale have a score to settle against KB having lost 1-0 to their brothers-in-arms in the 2013 Carlsberg Cup final at Mzuzu Stadium.
Probably, the lions of Kaning’ina will be fired up to avenge that defeat, having also lost two TNM Super League matches to KB this season.
KB were 2-1 victors over Moyale in the league’s first round, before winning again in the second round through a 1-0 scoreline.
But in cup games, anything can happen as both teams seem to be prepared for total war on the pitch.
KB Head Coach, Billy Phambala, said his side would clinch the cup after narrowly missing out last season.
“The cup will remain in Lilongwe. Moyale are fighting a losing battle. We will go flat out because we do not want to finish the season empty-handed,” Phambala said.
Last season, the deposed Super League champions lost 4-3 on postmatch penalties in the cup’s final to eventual winners Be Forward Wanderers at the same venue.
Moyale assistant Coach, Charles Kamanga, was equally positive about winning the cup despite the two consecutive losses to KB.
“It is a battle that we cannot afford to lose. It will be a different game and we need to be on top of our game to win it,” Kamanga said.
Moyale will be banking on their arsenal of Zondiwe Munthali, Khuda Muyaba and Clifford Fukizi while Harvey Nkacha, Kelvin Hanganda and Manase Chiyesa will be the key men for KB.
Road to the final
Moyale : The lions of Kaning’ina dumped holders Be Forward Wanderers out of the competition with a convincing 2-0 victory at Mzuzu Stadium in the round of 32 before beating Katowo by a similar margin in the round of 16.
In the quarterfinals, Moyale made it as the highest scoring team of the tournament after beating Umodzi 8-1 to book a semifinal berth against Nyasa Big Bullets.
The soldiers showed great character when they equalised in stoppage time and went on to win 5-4 on post-match penalties.
KB: The 2016 Fisd Cup runners-up began their campaign with a 3-0 round of 32 victory over Blantyre United, before beating Chikwawa United 4-1 in the round of 16.
In the quarterfinals, the Lilongwe-based soldiers narrowly beat Azam Tigers 2-1. To qualify for today’s final, KB defeated Masters Security 5-4 on post-match penalties.

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