Eagles swallow soldiers
The soldiers of Mafco came with all artillery aiming for the kill but ended up being swallowed by determined Blue Eagles as they lost 2-0 in the FISD Challenge round of 16 match played on a hot day at Civo Stadium.
It was also a battle between the soldiers and the policemen but at the end it was the Area 30 side which advanced to the last eight of the competition.
Eagles join holders Be Forward Wanderers in the quarterfinals after they defeated Masters Security FC 3-0 at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre Saturday.
It was a physical encounter as both sides deployed a similar approach.
Schumacher Kuwali did the first damage on Mafco with a brilliant goal in the 18th minute of the first half.
But the soldiers, currently playing in the second-tier league tried to put things together fighting for an equaliser but it seemed they brought rubber bullets only.
The soldiers got one best chance in the first half but Zikani Sichinga missed the target.
In the second half, it took only nine minutes for Micium Mhone to fire a live bullet which was too hot for Mafco goalkeeper Ronald Khunga.
In post-match interview, Eagles coach Decklerk Msakakuona, admitted it was a tough match.
“We have played them before and we knew it will be tough but we told the players to score a goal and defend it. The competition is going to be tougher but we are ready for any team,” Msakakuona said.
His Mafco counterpart, Stereo Gondwe blamed the loss on poor officiation.
“The players were demoralised by the first goal which was a clear offside so it was difficult for them to recover. Secondly, the change of the venue from Chitowe to Civo affected the players a lot because we spent a day without training travelling to Lilongwe,” Gondwe said, whose charges are at the top of the Chipiku League, hoping to return to top flight football next season.
The winner of the 2019 FISD Challenge Cup will pocket K20 million, the most lucrative package in domestic football plus a trophy whereas the runners-up will receive K7 million.
Wanderers are the only team to have won the competition twice in three years, after winning it in 2016 by beating Kamuzu Barracks 4-3 on post-match penalties but lost the 2017 competition which the soldiers won after a 1-0 victory over Moyale Barracks.
But Wanderers reclaimed it in 2018 after beating Silver Strikers 3-2 at Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe.