Giants in quarterfinal clashes
Football lovers will certainly be treated to an exciting Standard Bank Knock-Out Cup action as teams battle for places in the semi-finals this weekend.
All the big guns, Big Bullets, Be Forward Wanderers and Silver Strikers face tough and unpredictable challengers this weekend.
Wanderers will play Red Lions at Kamuzu Stadium today and in another exciting quarter-final encounter, Silver host free-scoring Blue Eagles at Silver Stadium, whereas Moyale Barracks entertain Bullets at Civo Stadium Sunday.
The Nomads would love to forget their woes in the league and continue their impressive form in cup games. They are the Carlsberg Cup kings but their recent form has been questionable, especially when playing at Kamuzu Stadium.
Wanderers have gone more than five games without a win at the country’s dilapidated soccer mecca.
As of Wednesday, Wanderers had injury concerns on Rafik Mussa, Francis Mlimbika and Ishmael Thindwa, whereas Wongani Kaipa and Mapopa Kaunda have been ruled out due to suspensions. But Jabulani Linje could be available for selection.
Wanderers and Lions are smarting from straight league game defeats when they lost 0-1 to Kamuzu Barracks and 4-2 to Bullets respectively.
Despite having an injury-plagued squad, Nomads team manager, Steve Madeira remains upbeat.
“We have a huge debt to our fans after denying them happiness in two consecutive league games and we are eager to repay them. We have no time to mourn the defeats but focusing on progressing to the semi-finals,” Madeira insisted.
On his part, Lions assistant coach, Prichard Mwansa, vowed to return to winning ways.
“The morale is high in our camp and the players are ready to win the match against Wanderers,” he said.
The match between, Eagles and Silver in Lilongwe promises to be a thrilling encounter as the two teams also met at the same stage last season. Silver triumphed and went on to win the cup.
Eagles’ team manager, Gabriel Chirwa, said his charges are treading vigilantly a head of the clash.
“We know that the match between Silver and Eagles is always tough, but we are confident of reaching the semi-finals,” said Chirwa on Wednesday.
The Bankers must keep a close eye on free-scoring Schumaker Kuwali.
Silver assistant coach, Lovemore Fazili and his boss Young Chimodzi, know the importance of the match as expectations are high among Silver fans as defending champions.
Fazili said: “We are preparing just like any other game. The players are in good shape and hopefully, we will do well on Saturday.”
In the league, Silver have started the second round on a high after winning three consecutive games.
This year’s tournament is being sponsored to the tune of K46million as the bank is celebrating 10 years of sponsoring the cup. The champions will pocket K10 million.
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