After a week of mind-games, daggers will be drawn this afternoon at Mzuzu Stadium as— for the third time this season— Moyale Barracks take on Be Forward Wanderers in a do-or-die Carlsberg Cup semi-final.
Moyale head into this clash as wounded soldiers having suffered two consecutive defeats to the Nomads this season. In the two games, Moyale conceded eight goals and scored thrice.
The defending champions booted the Lions of Kaning’ina out of the Airtel Top 8 Cup in June at the same stage via a 3-2 victory in Lilongwe.
Moyale felt robbed as they surrendered a 2-0 lead and lost the tie 3-2 at Bingu National Stadium.
As if that was not enough, Moyale lost 5-1 to the Nomads in a TNM Super League first-round match a week ago.
Moyale interim Coach, Charles Kamanga, said enough is enough and that this is the time for revenge.
“This is simply the game of the season. The Nomads are cup specialists, but we are equally good when it comes to such competitions.
“Losing 5-1 [in the league] was not that painful. What pains us to this date is the way they ousted us from the [Airtel] Top 8 Cup. And reaching the Carlsberg Cup final at Wanderers’ expense would be sweet revenge,” Kamanga explained.
Wanderers Team Manager, Steve Madeira, concurred with Kamanga in describing the game as a blockbuster.
He, however, warned his charges to approach the game with sober minds.
“This is a different game altogether. Should we go into this match basing on our previous results against them, we will end up being surprised.
“For us to reach the final, we have to play as if we have never met them. I know Moyale are capable of pulling a shocker, so we just have to be on guard,” Madeira said.
The last time the Mzuzu-based side laid their hands on the Carlsberg Cup trophy was in 2001.
At that time Kamanga was a player at the Malawi Defence Force (MDF) side.
Wanderers, on the other hand, will be looking to reach the final of the cup in two successive years.
To achieve that, the Nomads will rely on the inspiration of Joseph Kamwendo in midfield. However, it is the absence of suspended Alfred Manyozo and Jafali Chande that will be greatly felt by the Nomads.
Khuda Muyaba and Lovemore Mitengo are Moyale’s key players. In another semi-final, Nyasa Big Bullets and Red Lions meet at Bingu National Stadium in Blantyre tomorrow. The final will take place at the same Lilongwe venue on September 9.
A vibrant writer who gives a great insight on hot topics and issues