Tigers’ bite too little: Nomads progress into Airtel Top 8 Cup semifinal

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Azam Tigers held Be Forward Wanderers to a 1-all draw in the inaugural Airtel Top 8 Cup quarterfinal second-leg clash at Kalulu Stadium in Chikwawa on Saturday afternoon.

As a result, the Nomads booked their place in the competition’s semifinal after winning 3-1 on aggregate over two legs following their 2-nil victory over the Kanjedza outfit in the first leg at Balaka Stadium last week.

Nomads

Nomads sail through.

The visitors opened the score line just after 6 minutes in the first half courtesy of a Lucky Malata’s header from a corner which was played by veteran midfielder Joseph Kamwendo.

The Nomads dominated possession in the opening stages of the Cup encounter as they looked to add more goals in order to completely dash Tigers’s hopes of making a comeback.

Tigers were jittery in the midfield where Luke Chima and Dan Kumwenda were operating, allowing Kamwendo and Alfred Manyozo Jnr to press harder but lacked the finishing composure as Jabulani Linje and Jafali Chande were unable to unlock the hosts’ defence.

On 28th minute, Stainly Sanudi picked out his Nomads teammate, Linje, who headed wide of the target with only Tigers goalkeeper William Thole to beat.

Moments later, Felix Zulu made his way into the box only to be denied by Peter Cholopi’s last minute intervention for  a corner which had no impact as Clifton Kankhuni cleared the danger away, 1-nil it was at half time in favor of the Nomads.

Come second half, Tigers head coach Patricio Kulemeka made a change four minutes into the half. Innocent Msowoya replaced Precious Phiri while Jafali Chande paved way for Khumbo Ng’ambi.

Tigers were a changed side in the half as they dominated possession in the midfield but finishing was the major problem as Peter Katsonga was tightly marked by Malata and Harry Nyirenda in defence for the Nomads.

With Tigers coming wave after wave, Nomads coach Yasin Osman introduced Mike Kaziputa for Yamikani Chester while Chima for Tigers was replaced by Willy Saenda.

At the other end, Ng’ambi almost sealed the game when he failed to connect home from Kamwendo’s cross into the box only to fire wide off the goal mouth.

From there, Tigers won a free kick just close to the penalty box but Bonda Mpinganjira wasted the opportunity by firing over the cross bar.

Manyozo Jnr was then replaced by Rafick Mussa as the Lali Luban boys tried to close down Tigers in the midfield.

With 15 minutes to go on the clock, the Kau Kau boys pulled one back.

Katsonga’s long range drive outside the penalty box caught Wanderers’ defence napping in the line of duty before beating Richard Chipuwa in goals into the top corner, 1-1.

However, the Nomads stood firm to progress into the semifinals of the cup on a 3-1 goal aggregate and they will be waiting to see their next opponent in Sunday’s semifinal draw at Mulanje Park soon after Nyasa Big Bullets and Silver Strikers second leg quarterfinal clash.

Speaking to the media after the final whistle, Tigers’ Kulemeka hailed his boys for such a spirited performance despite bowing out of the competition.

“I would like to thank my boys for such a spirited performance despite not making it into the last four of the competition. You have seen how my boys performed today and signs are there that the team is in a good shape,” he said.

His opposite number said it was impossible for Tigers to come back into the game after beating them 2-nil in the first-leg.

“We had a target and we did exactly that. I knew that Tigers would try to cause havoc so I told the boys to kill of the game in the stages and it happened that we scored in the opening minutes to completely dash their hopes of coming back. We are looking forward to the semifinals and we are very optimistic of doing well in the next round,” he explained.

Cholopi was named man of the match and went away with cash amounting to K50 000.

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22 Comments

  1. Eti mpaka dzuro asilver kumawakaniza ground kuti apangepo training?koma team yankhaza iyi bwanji?koma silver awamenyera nkhondo mulungu!go mabankers go!!!,tili pambuyo panu ife anyerere!

  2. Kod mesa akt tigers imaponya nd ma blues chonde ndthandizeni mwina ine sindikuonesesa ,,,ma bleus wo ndiatio apapa?maule mawa tikumwa wakaka ..

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