…to face Masters Security in semifinals…
Silver Strikers clinched a hard fought 1-0 win over Be Forward Wanderers in the Airtel Top 8 Cup quarterfinal match played at Silver Stadium on Tuesday afternoon to book a semifinal place with a 2-0 goal aggregate.
Duncan Nyoni broke the deadlock in the 39th minute to put his side ahead having been under pressure in the opening minutes of the match.
The visitors started brightly and should have been 1-0 up in the 5th minute when Isaac Kaliyati found Babatunde Adepoje unmarked in the box, but the former Masters Security forward failed to find the target with only Brighton Munthali to beat.
The Bankers were able to minimize Wanderers’ pressure and they started dominating the midfield where Levison Maganizo and Victor Limbani were operating.
The visitors lacked coordination from Alfred Manyozo Jnr, Francis Mkonda and Francisco Madinga, resulting into few chances created from a side which needed goals at all cost.
Maganizo was stretched off after sustaining an injury and he was replaced by Ronald Pangani, leaving the midfield in the hands of Limbani who outclassed the visitors with his dribbling ability and his aerial advantage.
With 6 minutes to go, the Bankers broke the deadlock.
A dead ball from Thuso Paipi found Khuda Muyaba who failed to connect the ball into the net, allowing Nyoni to slice ball past Richard Chipuwa into the far post before kissing the back of the net, 1-0.
The Nomads struggled to get out of their half and tried to catch Silver Strikers on the counter attack through the pace of Kaliyati but Yunus Sherrif and Herbert Wayekha were too strong at the back for the hosts.
The match went into the half-time break with the Central Bankers enjoying their lead.
In the second half, the visitors started brightly but they lacked the cutting edge as their midfield struggled to win possession.
Wanderers introduced Misheck Botoman for Mkanda as they tried to add more firepower upfront but Sherrif made a brilliant intervention to deny the former Wizards FC forward from scoring with his first touch as he cleared the danger away from Munthali’s goal area.
The Nomads had another chance in the 63rd minute when Babatunde went close from a corner kick taken by Kaliyati.
As the clock was ticking very fast against the visitors, Raphael Udha was introduced for Manyozo Jnr while Madinga was replaced by Peter Katsonga.
However, the hosts were able to kill off the game with some delaying tactics to frustrate the visitors who pressed harder in search for the much needed goals but Silver’s defense proved to be too difficult to unlock.
Wanderers’ got the last chance towards the end of the match but Katsonga headed over the crossbar in unbelievable circumstances.
The Nomads tried their level best to at least reduce the arrears but the 2017 winners stood firm to cruise into the last four of the competition.
The Bankers will play Masters Security in the semifinals.
Masters Security made it into the semifinals following their 1-0 victory over Kamuzu Barracks, to draw 2-2 and progress on away goal rule.
The other semifinal will see Mzuni FC playing host to Karonga United.