FDH Bank Cup Round 16 preview: Three teams eye quarterfinal berths

Attention turns to the FDH Bank Cup Last 16, with the remaining three ties to be played and a quarterfinal place beckoning for the winners to join five teams who already made it to the last 8, putting them just two games from a chance of lifting the trophy and a whopping MK25 million prize money.

We are guaranteed to have four Regional League teams in the next round as Nyasa Big Bullets Reserves, Changalume Barracks, Extreme FC and Chitipa United progressed to the quarterfinals, with two of the above mentioned teams getting the better of Super League teams in Round 32 and Round 16 respectively.

Let’s preview the remaining matches

Nyasa Big Bullets vs Moyale Barracks

Familiar oppositions in Cup competitions.

Bullets are going into the match as clear favorites following their impressive run of results in the top flight league, which has seen them maintaining their unbeaten start to the season and opening up a 12-point lead over their closest competitor. They go into the match straight from their successful Northern Region outing after they registered two straight wins in the Super League.

As for their opponents, they have had a mixed bag of results in the top flight league, picking up two victories plus as many draws and defeats in the last six matches.

They defeated Mighty Tigers 3-1 in the league before overcoming a highly spirited Ngwanje FC in the Round 32 but they failed to maintain their winning run when they lost 1-0 to Blue Eagles last week.

When it comes to Cup meetings between the two teams, Bullets have had more victories than their Sunday opponents.

The two teams have had several meetings in knockout games, with the last meeting between them dating back to November 2017 when Moyale Barracks knocked Bullets out of the then Fisd Cup on penalties. The match ended 2-2 in the regulation time before a 5-4 victory for the Mzuzu based side.

In 2008, the Soldiers also triumphed with the same margin at Kamuzu Barracks to win the Standard Bank Knockout Cup.

But The People’s Team got their revenge in style when they defeated the Soldiers 1-0 at Civo Stadium in the Presidential Cup in 2012.

Bullets also recorded a 1-0 victory to knock Moyale Barracks out of the Standard Bank in 2015 at Mzuzu Stadium courtesy of Diverson Mlozi’s strike.

‘The People’s Team’ were not yet done with Moyale Barracks as they defeated the Soldiers 4-3 on penalties to win the 2016 Presidential Cup.

In the current season, the two teams met in the first round at Mzuzu Stadium from which Bullets won 2-1 courtesy of second half strikes from Precious Sambani and Babatunde Adepoju.

Dedza Dynamos vs Mighty Wanderers

Another giant of Malawian football is heading to Dedza Stadium, a venue where another giant, the defending champions of the cup, were knocked out.

Dedza Dynamos saw off one of the pre-tournament favorites in the Round 32, beating them on penalties to book a spot in the Last 16.

If we are to go with the current form, Dedza Dynamos are the favorites since they have made their venue a no go zone for other teams but when it comes to Cup games, Wanderers are the masters.

Being the first ever meeting in Cup competitions between the two sides, the rookies are facing a wounded Buffalo which will do whatever it takes to survive considering the fact that they are no longer favorites to win the league following Bullets’ successful trip to the North which saw them opening a very big gap over their cross town rivals.

Earlier this season, they met in the league in which Wanderers won 2-0.

Dedza Dynamos head into the match straight from their 2-1 victory over Sable Farming whilst Wanderers played out to a goalless draw with Mighty Tigers last week.

To reach this far, Wanderers had to settle for a penalty shootout victory over Kamuzu Barracks Reserves after surrendering a 2-0 lead to end the match 2-2 in the regulation time.

Ekwendeni Hammers vs Blue Eagles

Another exciting fixture which will see last season’ runners up in the competition against a side which is currently doing well based on how they struggled in the 2020/21 season.

Hammers are struggling and are just two points above the relegation zone following a 2-0 defeat suffered in the hands of Bullets on Wednesday.

First meeting between the two teams in a cup competition Hammers will have to up their game if they are to get something out of the match against a team which has registered back to back victories in all competitions.

In the Super League match between the two teams, Ekwendeni Hammers had to come from behind to force Eagles to a 1-1 draw at Nankhaka Stadium in the first round.

As for Eagles, they are also facing a resilience side which is only struggling to get goals despite playing a high pressing football. This looks likely to be one of the good matches to watch in the competition.

The winner will walk away with a whopping MK 25 million in prize money and a trophy, befitting a champion.

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