Written by LEONARD SHARRA
LILONGWE--The battle lines between capital city bitter rivals Civo United and Silver Strikers have now been drawn following the two sides’ qualification into the K20 million Standard Bank Top 8 knock out trophy semi finals.
Civo have made it through to the semi finals rather through the backdoor, after scraping to a nil-all draw against visiting Moyale Barracks in a not so exciting encounter played at Silver Stadium on Saturday, September 22, 2012.
The two teams also drew one-all during the first leg at Chitowe Stadium a week ago but Civo have gone through on the away goal rule after scoring away from home.
Coach Alex Masanjala, speaking after the game at Silver said he was delighted to see his team going through to the semis, adding he would prepare his youthful squad for the crunch semi final tie against Silver.
“We had chances today especially in the first half but we did not utilize them. However, we told our boys that if we fail to score, we should make sure that Moyale do not score as well and this is what we have done.
“We are going to prepare thoroughly for the game against Silver and we know it will not be an easy match,” said Masanjala.
His counterpart Themba Ntontholo gracefully accepted the defeat, saying the story could have been different had his team taken its chances: “We had chances but were just unlucky not to score. We will now focus on the Super League and the Carlsberg Cup,” said Ntontholo, who praised referee Denis Ngulube for handling the game professionally.
At Nankhaka Ground in Area 30, defending champions Blue Eagles failed to reverse the 3-1 deficit they suffered in the first leg against Silver only managing a one-all draw against the visitors.
Charles Ngosi shot the cops into the lead 14 minutes into the game before Harvey Nkacha leveled for the bankers within the last quarter of the game. The result means Silver have progressed to the semi final 4-2 0n aggregate.
Also cruising to the semi finals on the afternoon were Mighty Wanderers, who defeated Escom United 2-1 at Balaka Stadium to go through on a 3-2 aggregate.
Victor Mpinganjira and Gerald Chimbaka scored for the Nomads before Escom United’s ‘returnee’ Chiukepo Msowoya reduced the arrears from the penalty spot in the dying minutes.
The Nomads’ semi final opponents will be known tomorrow after a quarter final second leg involving Epac United and Big Bullets at Silver Stadium on Sunday, September 23, 2012. Bullets won the first leg 1-0.