A stunning performance from ten man MAFCO FC saw them record a hard fought 3-2 victory over Silver Strikers at Silver Stadium to knock the Central Bankers out of the competition.
Without the suspended Matthews Sibale, the Area 47 based side were toothless upfront as Victor Limbani and Green Harawa were tightly marked by the Soldiers.
The visitors dominated play from the word go as Saidi Mtekama, Hassan Chapola and Paul Phiri controlled the midfield to frustrate the home team.
Just 15 minutes into the match, referee Andy Kuseli was at fault when he denied the visitors a clear penalty after Herbert Wayekha handled the ball inside his own penalty box.
Moments later, the visitors got their opener through Emmanuel Chipeta when he received the ball from Lanken Mwale to smash past Blessings Kameza in goals for the Bankers.
The game was put beyond Silver’s reach when Mwale doubled MAFCO’s tally after he was set through by Mtekama to slot past the advanced Kameza, who was partly blamed for the goal, 2-0.
With less than 7 minutes to play before the interval, the visitors were reduced to ten men when Mwale was given his second yellow card for assimilation but the Bankers were no match to MAFCO’s pace who, despite being one man down, demonstrated how prepared the Soldiers were for the encounter.
Come second half, the Salima based Soldiers added their third goal to completely dash Silver’s hopes of making a comeback with a beautiful goal through Zikhole Nguluwe following a defensive relapse by the home team.
However, the Bankers were still very much into the game when Limbani reduced the arrears after an exchange of passes between Duncan Nyoni and Blessings Tembo to release the former Nyasa Big Bullets midfielder who made no mistake by slotting past Jailosi Kapalamula in goals for the visitors.
With less than 15 minutes to play, the Bankers scored another goal through substitute Ronald Pangani and the hosts almost levelled the scores when MAFCO’s Nguluwe cleared the ball before crossing the line to leave every Silver Strikers fan in agony and after 90 minutes of play, 2-3 it ended.
The cup’s national draw will be conducted on Thursday when eight Super League teams will be pitted against eight teams from the lower division leagues.