Silver Strikers turned on a majestic performance Friday to beat Ekwendeni Hammers 2-0 to lift the inaugural K90 million FDH Bank Cup and in the process granting Zambian mentor Dan Kabwe his first silverware in the country.
Blaring car horns, sky blue and white flags were the most outstanding feature at Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe.
It was a vintage show for Silver, who dominated the proceedings for the better part of the match.
For winning the cup, Silver will pocket K25million- the highest prize money in domestic football plus a glittering trophy whereas runner-up Hammers will receive K8 million.
Goals from Frank Banda and Stain Davie were enough to hand Kabwe his first silverware in domestic football.
It was a rare moment for Kabwe and players as they celebrated in-front of their fans. That was not all, Silver players hoisted Kabwe.
For Hammers, it was a bad day at the office as they were left dejected.
Some critics might argue that Hammers were ordinary on the day but they still deserve credit for giving Silver a tough run for their money.
Hammers started the match on a high and got the first chance inside two minutes but Clever Kaira shot straight into the palms of goalkeeper Charles Thom.
Silver reorganised themselves and seized control of the midfield with energy and pace as they imposed themselves on the Hammers.
Midfielder Tawonga Chimodzi, Zebron Kalima and Patrick Macheso were on top of their game and made the combination of Eneya Banda, Sammy Phiri and Blessings Singini ineffective.
Banda opened the scores in the 38th minute with a fine header. After the goal, the Bankers took control of the match.
Sensing danger, Hammers Coach Etison Kadenge Mwafulirwa made a change when he brought in Edgar Gangana for Phiri, who endured a bad day at the office.
However, the substitution made no impact as Silver continued to dominate the match.
The two teams went for recess with Silver having a slender 1-0 lead.
After recess, Silver continued with a solid performance.
Stain Davie doubled Silver’s lead with a thunderous shot as goalkeeper Chancy Mtete was left helpless. It was game over and money in the bank for Silver.
Substitute Levison Maganizo nearly added a third goal after he beat Mtete but his effort was cleared off the line by Mustapha Maulana.
In post-match interview, Silver Assistant Coach Macdonald Yobe praised his players.
“The players showed great character. This is the start of good things for us,” Yobe said.
On his part, Mwafulirwa rued missed chances.
“We lacked killer punch upfront. Lack of experience also cost us the match,” he added.
Kalima was named man-of-the-match and got K50, 000 from FDH Bank.
Mighty Wanderers striker Vincent Nyangulu finished the tournament with four goals to win the golden boot award.
FDH Bank Senior Marketing Manager Ronald Chimchere said the inaugural trophy was a success.