Silver Strikers have booked a place in the final of the 2016 Carlsberg Cup after demolishing Mafco FC 3-1 at Civo Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Victor Limbani scored two goals in the second half, with another goal coming from Mike Robert to inspire the Central Bankers to a deserved victory-though the scoreline perhaps flattered them given the chances a plucky Mafco enjoyed in the match.
The area 47 based giants controlled the whole of the first half which was a fast-paced and entertaining affair but were failling to slot past Dalitso Makunganya in goals for the visitors who made several fantastic saves to frustrate the home fans.
The visitors were no match to the hosts’s pace, intelligence and attacking instict as they played with intent throughout the half.
Silver continued their dominance over the visitors, forcing Makunganya to come up with two good saves after the half hour mark to deny Binwel Katinji and Duncan Nyoni from scoring.
At the other end, Joseph Dossa missed Mafco’s closest chance when he fired wide just metres away from the Bankers’ goal mouth.
With a minute to go before the interval, the Central Bankers were denied again by Makunganya, who produced a fantastic save when everybody thought the ball was inside the net and it was goalless at half time.
After the break, the first ten minutes were dull as both teams opted to play earial balls in the middle of the park, resulting into fewer chances created by the two teams.
However, the Bankers got their goal in the 61st minute through Limbani.
A cross from Nyoni found Katinji who chested the ball down for Limbani to fire a right-footed shot which was too much for the outstanding Makunganya, 1-0.
Few minutes later, it was 2-nil.
A defensive mistake from the visitors allowed Limbani to slot the ball past Mafco goalie into the back of the net, 2-0.
The Bankers were ‘too’ confortable as they started relaxing with more minutes left on the clock to play.
The visitors reduced the arrears through Benard Harawa who fired past Blessings Kameza as the Bankers failed to clear a loose ball from Dossa, 2-1.
With less than 20 minutes to play, Mafco side was the dominant force to reckon with, forcing the Bankers to retreat further and further in defence as the match wore on, but the home side did put together some good attacks on the counter, most notably when Nyoni almost killed the game off, but his rifled shot rebounded off the post.
The Central Bankers were hit with a massive blow when left back Thoko Stambuli was stretched off due to an injury he sustained when he collided with Patrick Masanjala.
Further pain arrived for the visitors towards the end of the match when Robert scored Silver’s third goal to completely seal the victory for the area 47 giants.
It was a well calculated move, started by the goal-scorer himself who combined well with Thuso Paipi and Levison Maganizo before slotting past Makunganya to make it 3-1.
Six more minutes were added by referee Dennis Ngulube but the Central Bankers held on to avenge that 3-nil defeat they suffered in the hands of the Soldiers during a league match at Chitowe Stadium last month.
The Bankers will face Mighty Wanderers at Kamuzu Stadium on 10 September where the winner will walk away with a trophy plus K12 million cash in prize.