Wanderers, Masters renew hostility
The round of 16 in the Fisd Challenge Cup rolls into life as Be Forward Wanderers begin the defence of the competition against struggling Masters Security FC at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre this afternoon.
This is a repeat of last year’s meeting between the two sides but Wanderers emerged victors with a 4-0 win over the Lilongwe-based outfit at the same venue.
Then, it was a sweet revenge for the Nomads after they lost 5-4 on post-match penalties to the same side in the final of the Carlsberg Cup three days earlier.
When they met in the TNM Super League in the first round this season, Wanderers also triumphed 6- 1 at the same venue in the first round.
But this afternoon’s clash is different and can go either way as history does not matter in a game of football.
Nomads Assistant Coach, Oscar Kaunda, admitted that Masters were a tough nut to crack.
“In cup games, it is very difficult to predict the outcome of the match but we have prepared well for the match. We will make life difficult for them,” he said.
There is renewed hope in Masters camp following the arrival of new coach Audlow Makonyola, who could turn the corner for the Lilongwe-based outfit.
Makonyola might want to start on a high in his career at Masters and cause an upset in the competition.
“Everything is possible in football. We are in Blantyre on a serious mission and we will get what we want. It is not easy for both teams but the team which will have a good plan will carry the day,” Makonyola said before departing for Blantyre.
In this encounter, Nomads would welcome back striker Babatunde Adepoju, who missed Civil Sporting Club match due to work permit issues and he looks likely to lead the front line against his former club alongside another former Masters employee Vincent Nyangulu.
At the back, Wanderers are likely to rely on Lucky Malata, Stanley Sanudi, Peter Cholopi and Ted Sumani whereas Alfred Mayonzo Jnr, Francis Mkonda and Francisco Madinga Jnr will maintain their places in midfield.
But new signing Eric Atsigah could debut for Nomads after completing the deal.
On the part of Masters, they also have experienced players who have potential to do the job at the top level.
Zeliat Nkhoma and Allion Chefu have an eye for goals and are likely to partner upfront with Amadu Makawa and Sammy Phiri on the wings.
Eneya Banda is influential whereas Chikondi Maloya Maneno Nyoni and Ruben Kaunda have potential to frustrate Nomads attackers.
The winner of this tie will progress to quarterfinals of the competition.
Wanderers hold a good record in the competition as they are the only team to have won it twice in three years since it was introduced.
They were the inaugural champions in 2016 after beating Kamuzu Barracks 4-3 on post-match penalties before winning it again last year after beating Silver Strikers 3-2 at Bingu National Stadium. KB won the 2017 edition after a 1-0 victory over Moyale Barracks.
Elsewhere, Chipiku League side Mafco have a chances to prove their worth when they host Blue Eagles at Civo Stadium in Lilongwe.
The last time the two sides met in cup match was in 2018 in the quarters finals of the Airtel Top 8 Cup but the Area 30- based side won 1-0 on aggregate to dump the soldiers out of the competition.
But there might be a renewed hope in the soldiers camp having knocked out Mzuni after a 5-1 victory in the round of 32 match at Chitowe Stadium.