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Lilongwe stands still

Silver Strikers, Civil Sporting Club renew rivalry

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By Mabvuto Kambuwe:

The colossal TNM Super League Lilongwe derby involving Silver Strikers and Civil Sporting Club is set for this afternoon at Civo Stadium with lots of expectations from both sides.

As usual, this is the fixture which brings noise and drama as bragging rights and points are at stake.

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Silver assistant Coach Abasi Makawa and his Civil counterpart Elia Kananji will be on spotlight as they will be in the dugout in the Lilongwe derby for the first time in their coaching careers after quitting Masters Security FC.

The two sides are separated by five points on the log table with Silver on fifth position having collected 33 points from 19 games whereas Civil are seventh with 28 points from the same number of games.

Heading into the derby, Silver are beaming with confidence after amassing four points from the Southern Region where they beat Mighty Tigers 1-0 before a 1- 1 draw against leaders Be Forward Wanderers whereas Civil were on bye last weekend.

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Civil have a score to settle against Silver having lost the derby in the first round 2-1 at Silver Stadium with goals from Michael Tetteh and Duncan Nyoni. Fletcher Bandawe was on target for Civil from the penalty spot during the match played in June this year.

Silver would be looking forward to proving that their dominance over their city rivals in recent years has not been a flash in the pan.

However, the derby is always a match full of surprises.

Both camps know the importance of the match and are likely to exercise caution.

Makawa believes his charges are in the right frame of mind.

“We will go into the match with the aim of getting maximum points. We know Civil are a good team but we are better. We know how to beat them and we expect to smile at the end of the match,” Makawa said.

The Civil Servants play like a unit and build attacks from the back. They have talent in the name of Bandawe, Dan Kumwenda, Willard Dickson, Isaac Msiska and Lawrence Chaziya.

But they must keep a close eye on in-form striker Khuda Muyaba, Nyoni, Tetteh and Young Chimodzi Jnr.

Kananji said they were itching for revenge against their rivals.

“We have to show them that we are a big team. We cannot afford to lose again, especially at home. The players have promised to give out their best in the game,” Kananji said.

Leaders Wanderers are on the road this weekend and face a stern test in their mission to reclaim the league championship when they meet Mzuni at Mzuzu Stadium today before another tough fixture against Moyale at the same venue.

In the first round, Wanderers thrashed Mzuni 5-1 at Kamuzu Stadium but lost 3-2 to Moyale.

The Nomads are top of the log table with 40 points from 18 games followed by Nyasa Big Bullets on 38 points from the same number of games.

Bullets date Dwangwa United at Kamuzu Stadium this afternoon.

Wanderers assistant Coach Oscar Kaunda said his troops are geared for the crucial assignments ahead of next week’s Blantyre derby.

“We have tough matches but we are prepared. We are confident of getting good results in Mzuzu,” Kaunda said.

In other fixtures scheduled for this weekend, Chitipa Savenda United host fourth-placed Kamuzu Barracks at Karonga Stadium.

KB have 35 points.

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