LILONGWE--Red Lions FC on Saturday booted out Civo United from the K60 million Presidential Football Cup after trouncing the servants 2-0 in a round-of-16 match played at Civo Stadium in the capital city.
The marauding lions from the old capital scared the servants right from the word go, hitting the target barely a minute into the game through Benjamin Kalua, who tapped in a loose ball from the box.
The Alex Masanjala boys fought hard for an equalizer which they nearly got on 43 minutes but Martin Masoatheka’s scissor’s kick hit the cross bar before a thankful Lions’ goalkeeper Brighton Ngwenyama picked the loose ball.
Half-time whistle caught the servants trailing 0-1 and their hopes of a come-back were dashed five minutes after resumption when Dan Katunga scored the second goal for the visitors after a defensive blunder by Civo.
Malumbo Mkandawire had an opportunity to make it 3-0 for Lions but he shot wide from close range after being put through by Chimwemwe Gundampanda.
Masanjala conceded defeat after the whistle, explaining the early goal unsettled his charges: “We did not play well today. The first goal came too early and our boys played under panic up to the very end.
This has been our worst performance this season and Red Lions were just unlucky not to score more goals,” said the veteran coach.
Lions’ Collins Nkuna praised his charges for playing to instructions:
“I told my players to get an early goal to destabilize Civo and they did just that. Similarly, during half time, I told them to get the second goal to completely shut out Civo and they followed that. We are aiming to bring something into the Commander’s shelf this season,” said Nkuna.
With the win, the soldiers, who are unbeaten in the league will face Escom United in the quarterfinals in Zomba. The struggling electricians booked a quarterfinal berth after defeating Embangweni United 2-0 in Mzuzu.
In other round-of-16 matches played Saturday, Davie Mpesi’s Chikhwawa United eliminated Blue Eagles from the competition via a 1-0 score-line at Kalulu Stadium in Nchalo while Bvumbwe Research thrashed Epac FC 4-1.
Moyale Barracks came out 1-0 victors over Leo Mpulula’s Azam Tigers at Mzuzu Stadium as Super Eagles trounced Kasungu Police 5-2.
The last clash in the round-of-16 is between Bullets FC and capital giants Silver Strikers on Sunday barely a month after the central bankers demolished Bullets 4-0 in a TNM Super League opener at Silver Stadium.
---©2012 The Maravi Post. Reproduction authorised, with usual acknowledgment.