Kamuzu Barracks and Be Forward Wanderers will battle for the FISD Challenge Cup trophy when they meet in the final next month at a venue yet to be announced by Football Association of Malawi (FAM).
The Soldiers have progressed into the showpiece match after overcoming Silver Strikers 1-nil at Silver Stadium thanks to a Manaseh Chiyesa’ second half strike while the Nomads beat Blue Eagles with the same margin to reach another cup final in a row.
It was a game of two halves, with the Central Bankers having a lions share of possession in the first half but failed to unlock the visitors’ defence throughout the entire 45 minutes.
The only realistic chance for the Bankers fell through to Clemment Trota who failed to put the ball into the back of the net. At the other end, Kelvin Hang’anda’s header just missed the upright with an inch before another strike from Diouf Simaone which ended in the hands of Blessings Kameza in goals for the Bankers, goalless it was at half time.
In the second half, Kamuzu Barracks did their calculations very well as they started playing with intent, knocking at Silver’ goal on several occasion but Kameza was equal to the task. Green Harawa, who was making his second return to the Bankers following a one year spell in Mozambique, failed to make any impact as he was tightly marked by the visitors’ defence.
Simaone had his shot again well saved by Kameza who was the busiest in the half. Victor Limbani and Blessings Tembo were introduced by the Bankers for Thuso Paipi and Timothy Chitedze.
The home fans were finally stunned in the 26th minute when Dave Banda released Chiyesa to the right flank of the southern goal-post and the latter made no mistake by releasing a thunderbolt inside the penalty box to beat Kameza who was nowhere near the ball, 1-0.
The goal was a waking up call for the hosts who then introduced Binwell Katinji for Trota but this change made no impact as the visitors defence stood firm to frustrate the home fans.
And on 89th minute, referee Ishmael Chizinga awarded the visitors a penalty when Mike Robert fouled Harvey Nkacha, though the replay was showing that the incident happened just outside the penalty box.
However, Hang’anda saw his effort from the spot well saved by Kameza but the Soldiers held on to stun the hosts to progress into the final for the first time in four years.
KB and Wanderers are not regular combatants in cup competitions down the years.
In fact, these teams have never played each other in a cup final.
The teams’ most recent cup meeting arrived some months ago in the Carlsberg Cup round of 16 clash where the Nomads progressed through to the quarter-finals by beating the Soldiers 2-nil.