SKY blue flags, fireworks and blaring car horns were the most outstanding features in Lilongwe on yesterday as Silver Strikers won the inaugural Airtel Top 8 Cup after beating Be Forward Wanderers 10-9 on post-match penalties at a packed Bingu National Stadium.
The Nomads certainly met their match having dominated most inaugural tournaments in domestic football.
For the Bankers, it was a proud moment as they made history by becoming the first side to win the tournament.
History repeated itself after they also won the first BP Top 8 Cup in 2003.
Mathews Sibale was a villain in last year’s Carlsberg Cup final after missing his spotkick but he was an instant hero yesterday after scoring the penalty that won the bankers the cup.
Silver became instant winners after Nomads defender, Harry Nyirenda, smashed his penalty kick against the post with goalkeeper Blessings Kameza already down.
The Bankers went back home K15 million richer whereas Wanderers received K5million.
It was Silver’s first triumph against Wanderers in four cup finals.
The Central Bankers got their tactics right with solid defending throughout the game.
After the penalty shoot-out, Silver Head Coach, Lovemore Fazili, tumbled to the turf unbalanced and stretched his arms celebrating the victory.
The feeling was different on the part of the Nomads as the players openly shed tears.
Coach Yasin Osman buried his face in his palms in total disbelief.
Nomads fans’ trooped out of the stadium crest-fallen.
Silver did all the things a cup winning team must do-converting all their spot-kicks.
Man-of-the-match, Thuso Paipi, enjoyed one of his best games in a Silver shirt, stretching Wanderers’ defence with his trademark dribbling and darting runs.
Wanderers tried everything required to win the cup; but it was Silver’s time.
Blessings Tembo, Chisomo Mpachika, Paipi, Young Chimodzi Jnr, Yinusa Sherrif, Mike Robert, Herbert Wayekha, Levison Maganizo and Binwell Katinji scored their penalties whereas Wanderers converted through Joseph Kamwendo, Alfred Manyozo, Jabulani Linje, Stanley Sanudi, Yamikani Chester, Felix Zulu, Lucky Malata, Jaffalie Chande and Francis Mlimbika.
After the penalties, most of the Nomads players exchanged their uniforms with Silver players as a sign of accepting defeat.
Wanderers Team Manager, Steve Madeira, admitted that it was a bad day at the office.
“It was not our day but it was a good game. Congratulations to Silver for winning the cup. We did everything but luck was not on our side,” Madeira said.
A visibly delighted Fazili praised his side for the win.
“I am very extremely happy to win the cup. We have defied all odds. With the youthful squad, very few people gave us a chance. We have been building a team and finally we are getting things right,” Fazili said.
Line ups: Wanderers : Vales Kamzere, Sanudi, Nyirenda, Malata, Mlimbika, Manyozo Jnr, Kamwendo, Chester, Zulu, Khumbo Ng’ambi, Linje
Silver: Brighton Munthali, Robert, Wayekha, Mpachika, Sherrif, Tembo, Chimodzi Jnr, Maganizo, Paipi, Green Harawa, Sibale.
Referee: Aziz Nyirenda
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