…as Karonga earn important draw at Kasungu…
Khuda Muyaba’ strike inspired Silver Strikers to a hard-fought 1-nil victory over Be Forward Wanderers in the Airtel Top 8 Cup quarterfinal first leg at Kamuzu Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The Bankers with their tried and tested, were eager to reach the final of the competition for the second time after winning against the Nomads last time out.
The visitors made a relatively slow start but gradually grew stronger as the opening minutes progressed, with Michael Tete firing the game’s first shot on goal which Richard Chipuwa dealt with well in the end.
The Nomads were not bound to be intimidated with home support and Zicco Mkanda was at the end of their first strike on target minutes later.
Great work done by Thuso Paipi who dribbled past two defenders before whipping a low cross that landed to Muyaba who drew a finger-tip save from Chipuwa, the busiest goalkeeper on the day.
The prudent attacking quality Wanderers are fondly known for nearly came to fruition when A Babatunde Adepoju ran on to a long ball before comfortably beating Brighton Munthali but the ball missed the goal mouth with an inch.
The Bankers were pressing hard on their opponents and it was their turn to go in front, but Muyaba failed to direct his header on target after rising well on 30 minutes.
The visitors finally took the lead through Muyaba following communication breakdown between Chipuwa and Harry Nyirenda, 1-0.
Wanderers were struggling to win the midfield battle where Simeon Singa was operating as he was outclassed by Levison Maganizo.
Come second half, Wanderers missed an inviting opportunity to level the scoreline after Stainley Sanudi’s freekick found Babatunde who blasted his effort wide off goal in an unbelievable circumstances.
At the other end, Paipi was in the thick again, but in this occasion, his shot from loose ball sailed wide with the help of Chipuwa who managed to tip it away.
Singa was substituted for Francis Mkonda while Victor Limbani came in for the Bankers.
Wanderers managed to soak up and the pressure and nearly equalized against the run of play but despite the good effort from Mkanda, Munthali denied him the chance, leaving all the Nomads fans in disarray.
Wanderers then made their final substitution, introducing Francisco Madinga and Felix Zulu for Mike Kaziputa and Isaac Kaliyati.
With eight minutes to full-time, Wanderers pressed for the equalizer after Madinga forced Munthali into making a save following a cross-field delivery from Sanudi.
On the other hand, the visitors edged closer to doubling their lead and Muyaba was a tad unfortunate not to get on the end of an inside-cross from left by Paipi.
However, the visitors stood firm to take the driving seat ahead of the second leg next month.
At Kasungu Stadium, Stain Dave scored in the late stages of the match to cancel out a Gule Mwaisope’s opener as TN Stars drew with Karonga United in the quarterfinal first leg encounter at Kasungu Stadium.
The visitors were forced to finish the match with ten men as goalkeeper Happy Msowoya was red carded.
However, despite playing one man down, the visitors held on to record an away goal ahead of the second leg next week.