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Malawi Standard Bank Cup: Litmus test for coach Ndawa

Franco NdawaLILONGWE--The Standard Bank cup rolls into action this week with teams itching to cruise through to the semifinals of the tournament as Coach Franco Ndawa begins the job with a daunting task at Silver Strikers.

Silver Strikers, popularly as the bankers, are meeting in the first leg of the cup the holders, the Eagles from Area 30, Blue Eagles at Silver Stadium. The bankers’ fans are expecting nothing but a win. Ndawa replaced Thom Mkorongo.

While the holders of the presidential cup, Big Bullets will battle it out with Albus Makawa’s Epac FC. The people’s team is in top form and their man of the moment Gabadinho Mhango should be a cause for worry in Epac FC squad. Mhango won player of the tournament and golden boot awards in the presidential cup. However, the Makawa’s side is equally good. Their marksman Ishmael Thindwa will also be Bullets menace, come Saturday. In their first super league match, Bullets came from behind to settle for a one all draw.

Another exciting match is between last year’s runners up Escom United and Mighty Wanderers at Kalulu Stadium in Ntchalo. Escom is struggling in the top flight league and currently they are third from the bottom on TNM log table. Wanderers are on position three and they have beefed up their squad by roping in diminutive striker Tony Chitsulo from Silver Strikers. Midfielders Joseph Kamwendo Gerald Phiri Junior and Nafe Msasa will likely give Escom tough time. The electricians, on the other hand, have also experienced players namely Noel Mkandawire, Jacob Ngwira, Bashir Maunde and Captain Spencer Chapatha who have scoring abilities.

Coming from a 2-1 loss and K200,000 fine, the Soldiers from Kaning’a, Moyale Barracks face Civo United. The soldiers were the losing finalist in the 2012 presidential cup. Whereas Civo, Capital city giants, have not performed well in the first round of the super league having lost the steam and composure but the individual brilliance of Charles Ben, Pilirani Makupe, Welani Nyirenda and Allick LIhuhu can see them bring down the soldiers.
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