Pres. Cup semi-final preview: who will sail through?

Peter Wadabwa

The 2016 Presidential Cup semi-finals will be on showcase this weekend, with Big Bullets playing host to Mafco FC at Kamuzu Stadium while the other semi-finals see Moyale Barracks entertaining Mighty Wanderers at Mzuzu Stadium.

Three out of the four semi-finalists have had a taste of how joyful it is to lift the trophy.

Bullets, Wanderers, and Mafco FC have won the cup before, with Moyale Barracks coming close in 2012 when they lost 1-nil to Bullets courtesy of a third minute strike from Gabadinho Mhango.

Now, the four teams will battle it out for a place in the final when the semifinal showdown resumes this afternoon.

Bullets and Mafco have had some recent history in cup games for the past two seasons.

Mafco: Play Bullets at Kamuzu stadium today.

This will be their second meeting in cup games. Last year, Bullets knocked out Mafco FC in the Carlsberg Cup quarterfinals after winning 7-6 on post-match penalties.

The two teams have also had too many draws in their league meetings, with Mafco scoring in the dying minutes to force a 2-all draw last month at Chitowe Stadium.

Without Bashir Maunde, John Lanjesi, Pilirani Zonda, Dalitso Sailesi and Mike Mkwate due to injuries and suspensions, the people’s team have a mountain to climb when they face a resilient Mafco side which has no injuries or suspension.

The defending champions will rely heavily on their talisman Richard Mbulu to deliver for the Salima based Soldiers.

At Mzuzu Stadium, two cup specialists will be meeting for the second time in a cup match.

The Nomads have had arguably the easiest run in the Presidential Cup.

They started their journey with a 3-1 victory over Cobbe Barracks before thrashing Songani Veterans 7-nil.

From there, Wanderers slaughtered Red Lions in the round of 16 before surviving a scare against Max Bullets in the quarterfinals of the cup.

Nomads face Moyale in Mzuzu.

However, the Nomads will be without Rafique Namwera and Luka Milanzi due to injuries but they will be welcoming back shot-stopper Richard Chipuwa who returned from Mozambique after failing to secure a transfer to Chingale FC.

Their opponents have had a smooth run as well, with three of their matches against lower sides, no wonder Khuda Muyaba had more than 10 goals in a single match.

Last year, Moyale Barracks got knocked out by Wanderers 1-0 in the quarterfinals of the Standard Bank Cup.

With the Soldiers yet to win the cup, it will be a tough ride against the 2009 winners.

By the end of today, two teams will have booked a ticket to the cup final which will be played on 16th July 2016.

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