BLANTYRE: Unlike the quarter-finals that were played over
two legs, the Airtel Top 8 semi-finalists will have no luxury for a
second chance as it will be do-or-die.
The semis, slated for this coming Saturday in Lilongwe, are also
expected to be both fiery and passionate as the losing semi-finalists
will get nothing.
Silver Strikers who delight to be cup holders get a real test of
their pedigree on Saturday at Civo Stadium when they engage Blue
Eagles to determine the first finalist of the showpiece.
Although the bankers appear to be within touching distance to make
sure that the glittering cup stay put at area 47, they could be
stopped in their tracks by the revived and remoulded Malawi Police
outfit which has displayed verve and vigour of late.
Their coach Deklerk Nsakakuona appears to have turned the ingredients
of his troops into an appetising dish.
Last season, the area 30 cops gave the bankers headache , but
Nsakakuona has warned them not to expect a stroll in the park.
To qualify for the semis, Blue Eagles beat their ‘elders-in-arms’
Mafco FC 1-20 on aggregate (1-0 home and 0-0 away) and this should
give the bankers plenty of food for thought in the countdown to
The bankers qualified after ousting Civil Sporting Club 2-1 on
aggregate (1-1 at home and 1-0away).
However,the cops coach,Derklerk Nsakakuona on Monday warned his
troops not to expect an easy game.
Our stumbling block was Mafco and having seen them off, we do not
expect hurdles going forward.
We respect Silver , they are a good side, but we are not losing
sleep with the prospect of meeting them. When God has planned
something, he accomplishes it.
We expect a tough and exciting game though, said the upbeat area 30 mentor.
His bankers counterpart Lovemore Fazil sounded cautious though,
saying: We are ready just like we have been for any other match. Blue
Eagles have improved a lot this season and we have a lot of respect
And if you look at head-to-head, they had an edge over us last
season. So, I would say the odds appear to be swinging in their way.
Mphatso Filimoni is a defining symbol of the ultimate forward that
searing pace, that close control, that grace as he suddenly burst into
full pace and, oh boy, those super goals.
The bankers will also be welcoming back workhorse Levisoni Maganizo
and their first choice goalkeeper Bright Munthali who were with the
Flames at Cosafa.
The bankers have also Binwel Katinji who is tipped to mesh potently
with revitalised Filimoni upfront and Young Chimodzi jnr alongside
Levisoni Maganizo at the hub of their supply lines.
On the other hand, the area 30 cops will bank their hopes on their
vastly experienced midfielder Mecium Mhone.
The other potential match winners for Eagles could be Maxwell
Salambula and Philip Masiye.
The winner of this afternoon’s clash will face either Nyasa Big
Bullets or Be Forward Wanderers who meet the other week at Bingu
National Stadium in the capital city.
Source: Malawi News Agency MANA