Silver Strikers booked a semifinal date with Mighty Wanderers in the FDH Bank Cup after beating Nyasa Big Bullets 4-2 on post-match penalties at Silver Stadium in Lilongwe Wednesday.
Relief was the prevalent emotion on the part of Silver as they avenged the defeat they suffered at the hands of Bullets (2-1) some three weeks ago at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre in the TNM Super League.
It was a tense match that ended in a 2-2 stalemate in regulation time and had to be decided through penalty shootouts.
Goalkeeper Charles Thom was the hero of the day when he saved penalties taken by Sankhani Mkandawire and Henry Kabichi before Mark Fodya scored the decisive kick.
Chisomo Mpachika, Patrick Macheso, Levison Maganizo and Fodya converted their spot kicks whereas Yamikani Fodya and Chimango Kaira also scored for Bullets.
In regulation time, Hassan Kajoke gave Bullets an early lead four minutes into the match with a glancing header, connecting a MacFarlane Mgwira cross after Silver’s defence was caught napping.
But Stain Davie levelled the scores in the 41st minute with a clever finish from a quick rebound.
Silver could have buried the game in the first half but seasoned attacker Frank Banda missed two golden chances.
After recess, Zicco Mkanda restored Bullets’ lead in the 49th minute when he benefitted from Thom’s poor goalkeeping.
Silver re-organised and responded with more pressure on the visitors, resulting in Davie equalising again in the 64th minute through a header from Blessings Tembo’s free-kick.
In the closing stages of the match, Tembo could have won the game for Silver but Bullets goalkeeper Rabson Chiyenda was equal to the task in a one-on-one situation.
The former Civil Service United star was named man-of-the- match and went away with K50,000 from FDH Bank.
After the match, Silver Assistant Coach MacDonald Yobe said he was pleased with the character of his players.
“It was a difficult match but we managed to come from behind twice. The boys were in good spirits and we commend them for a job well done,” Yobe said.
Bullets Coach Kalisto Pasuwa said it was disappointing that his charges allowed Silver to come from behind and force penalty shootouts.
“It is very unfortunate that we conceded two goals. We let them come back into the game. I think the boys were a bit tired,” Pasuwa said.
Before the mouthwatering encounter, some supporters from both sides engaged in a brawl which resulted in injuries.