Written by INNOCENT KUMCHEDWA
LILONGWE--Silver strikers FC comfortably defeated Standard Bank cup holders and capital city bitter rivals Blue Eagles 3-1 on Saturday in a thrilling match at Silver Stadium.
The victory edge the TNM Super League defending champions closer to the comfort zone going into the second leg of the match which will be played at Nankhaka Stadium next week and it also proved to be a warm welcome for new coach Franco Ndawa.
Silver strikers started sharp than their opponents and dominated much of the early proceedings. Silver could’ve gone in front early in the game on 5th minute when a Mustafa Salim’s long throw was misjudged by Eagles defenders. Jester Mlima’s attempt was too weak.
Blue Eagles looked like lost men on an island as they failed chased the ball and when they got it, failed to hold possession. Eagles’s first chance of the game came on 20th minute when Charles Ngosi latched onto a through ball and unleashed a thunderbolt which went inches wide.
Mlima fluffed yet another golden opportunity of the first half, this time on 28th minute when a well crafted move by Roderick Gonani and Dave Moya saw the latter crossing a decent ball in the box which beat the Eagle’s defense and found Mlima on the edge of the box only for him to take his shot off target.
On the half hour mark, Blue Eagles could’ve broken the deadlock when Innocent Ngwira’s teasing cross was met by Charles Ngosi whose his header missed by a whisker.
On 45th minute Jester Mlima paid off for his early misses when he set up the opening goal. Mlima’s well weighed free kick found Frank Banda who put Silver in the ascendancy--1-0.
In the second half Silver continued from where they left off in the first half as they doubled their lead in the 50th minute when Harvey Mkacha headed Jester Mlima’s cross--2-0
In a bid to add more firepower Silver brought in Ndaziona Chatsalila for Ndaziona Chilemba while Blue Eagles took out Innocent Ngwira and brought in Ben Hojan.
Silver could've stretched their lead in the 68th minute when Harvey Mkacha’s cross was headed wide by Dave Moya.
Silver was forced to make a change when Frank Banda suffered an injury after being badly challenged with less than 10 minutes of the game. He was replaced by Green Harawa who would soon get involved when the substitute’s through ball set up Rodrick Gonani who finished superbly--3-0.
Blue Eagles found their consolation goal on the 44th minute through a penalty when Silver’s defender was judged to have handled the ball inside the box. After the match Silver coach Ndawa said:
“I am happy with the win but there is still a long way to go as you know this is just the first leg. The tie is not over yet. The boys are okay and they have really welcomed me.”
Blue Eagles coach Dickleck Msakakuona accepted the defeat but was confident.
“We have lost the game today, when we conceded that first goal my boys failed to pick up, but we will go back to training to prepare for the second leg,” he said.
Big Bullets FC got their first leg of the Standard Bank cup quarter final when they narrowly beat Epac United through none other than Gabadinho Mhango.
Moyale Barracks were held by Civo Service United 1-1 at Chitowe. Chrispin Fukizi and Patrick Gunde did the job. Civo goes into the second leg with a valuable away goal.
Finally, Escom United and Mighty Wanderer’s game ended in a 1-all draw. Joseph Kamwendo and Kelvin Haganda were the scorers. The electrician’s will go into the second leg with an upper hand against the Nomads as they have scored an away goal.
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