Silver, Dedza in First Capital finals

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Silver Strikers Youth and Dedza Young Soccer are expected to face off on Saturday afternoon at Dedza Stadium in the national finals of First Capital Bank Under-20 football tournament.

The two got the finale tickets after their convincing wins in their semi-final matches played on Friday at the same venue.

Dedza who are the hosts hammered Blantyre based outfit, Ndirande Stars, on post-match penalties after 80 minutes of regulation time had ended goalless for the first semi-final to be decided through the spot.

Ackim Leonard was the hero of the day after saving three penalties for Dedza to win the match 6-5 and Coach Andrew Bunya blamed his boys in an interview for allowing the match to be decided through the penalty kicks.

“It was a difficult match considering that our opponents were good today but I can also blame my boys for not finishing the job in the 80 minutes which we play in this tournament; we missed five clear chances which wasn’t good.

“However I believe that my boys will do the job tomorrow and we are grabbing this trophy,” Bunya said.

In the second semi-final, the Junior Bankers defied the odds to beat Mzuzu City giants, Topik Academy, 1-0 to stand a chance of grabbing Mk1.5 million grand prize for the champions and a trophy.

Most people had doubts on the Lilongwe based outfit following the absence of its four dependable players who are with Malawi national football under 20 team which is currently in Zambia for this year’s Cosafa under 20 championship.

The missing players include the banker’s skipper Haji Wali, Chinsisi Maonga, Maxwell Paipi and Frank Chizuze.

The team’s manager Dave Moya praised his men for putting a gallant fight and he said they are not afraid of Dedza.

“There was no secret today, we learnt a lesson last year when we lost the first match, now our focus is on tomorrow’s match against Dedza which is a good side, but we believe that we’ll do better and take home the trophy,” said Moya.

Topik will face Ndirande in a third play-off match before the championship decider staged.

In his remarks, National Youth Football Association (NYFA) general secretary, Thokozani Chimbali, described both semi-finals as difficult considering that all the teams were playing well with an aim not to lose.

He added by urging people to flock in large numbers on Saturday to see talents which the youths have.

The activities on Saturday will start with a parade of trophy around Dedza district.

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