Cup battles won, war continues
Some teams won battles over the weekend but the war is far from over in the two-legged K20 million Standard Bank Knock-Out Trophy quarterfinals.
The first legs of the quarter finals produced a lot of thrills with defending champions, Blue Eagles losing 3-1 to Silver Strikers in Lilongwe on Saturday.
In handing debutant coach Frank ‘Franco’ Ndawa a winning start, Silver moved forward through Rodrick Gonani, Harvey Mkacha and Frank Banda goals. The Eagles sneaked in the consolation through Mussa Manyenje but it was rather too little and too late.
The Eagles surely have a mountain to climb ahead of the second leg. In another first leg at Kalulu Stadium, Escom United and Mighty Wanderers drew one-all on Saturday.
Teenage striker Kelvin Hang’anda put Escom ahead in the opening stages only for Joseph Kamwendo to level matters from the penalty spot awarded after Escom goalkeeper Charles Swini’s foul of advancing
Wanderers striker Diverson Chilemba.
In Balaka, Gabadinho Mhango’s show continued as his 48th minute header of Fischer Kondowe’s cross proved the difference in slender 1-0 win over stubborn Epac United. The battle lines have surely been drawn ahead of the second leg in Lilongwe.
At Chitowe Stadium in the Central Region, Moyale Barracks and Civo United shared spoils in 1-1 draw. Crispin Fukizi scored for Moyale while Patrick Gunde responded for Civo.
The following day on Sunday, attention switched to the TNM Super League with third-from-bottom Escom holding ninth-placed Epac 2-2. Manase Chiyesa and Kondwani Gawani scored for Escom with Epac’s reply coming from Ishmael Thindwa and Pilirani Yasini.
Epac have 17 points and 12 for Escom.
At Balaka Stadium, Bullets climbed a step up to fourth place on 25 points after stealing a late 1-1 draw with Kamuzu Barracks FC who went ahead through Joel Chipofya only for substitute Dalitso Siliva to level matters at death.
At Chitowe Stadium, there was the latest confirmation that the honeymoon is over for Red Lions who lost 2-0 to Moyale Barracks on Sunday with strikes by Chikamveka Gwetsani and Deus Nkutu.
On Saturday, the Lions, who remain on 28 points three points behind leaders Silver, had drawn 0-0 with Mafco FC.