The FDH Bank Cup second edition reaches its quarter-final stage this weekend with some exciting clashes lined up.
With defending champions Silver Strikers clashing out in the last 32, league champions Nyasa Big Bullets and rivals Mighty Mukuru Wanderers will be looking to make no mistakes when they face Chitipa United and Kamuzu Barracks respectively on Saturday.
The most competitive fixture will see giant killer Nyasa Big Bullets Reserves and Blue Eagles face off on Sunday at Kamuzu Stadium while Changalume Barracks will play host to Extreme FC at Balaka Stadium on the same day.
Let’s now preview these interesting four matches:
Saturday, 20th August, 2022
Mighty Mukuru Wanderers vs Kamuzu Barracks at Kamuzu Stadium
Arguably the biggest game of the last eight sees fourth place Mighty Mukuru Wanderers take on fifth placed Kamuzu Barracks in the only all Super League ties. Wanderers coach Alex Ngwira will be hoping to continue from where they stopped in the Blantyre Derby when they came from behind to draw 3-3 with rivals Nyasa Big Bullets on Sunday.
The Nomads, who have had a mixed bag of results in the top flight league, reached the quarterfinal stage after they hammered Dedza Dynamos 3-0 and with their Super League title ambitions slowly fading away, they will do whatever it takes progress and possibly keep their dreams of ending their three year trophyless run to rest.
But they have to do this against a very improved side under Charles Kamanga who once got the better of the Nomads in the top flight league with a 2-1 win at the same venue.
To reach this stage, the Capital City Soldiers defeated Civil Service United 1-0 at Nankhaka Stadium.
Both teams are in a better form heading into this encounter and we are likely to watch a blockbuster match between the two sides.
Chitipa United vs Nyasa Big Bullets at Rumphi Stadium
Tournament favourites Nyasa Big Bullets are in search of their first silverware this season and they will likely field a very strong line-up against a non Super League side.
This will be the fifth meeting between Chitipa United and Nyasa Big Bullets in three years, with Bullets winning three of the four ties in the top flight league.
Bullets have had nine goals scored past the Northern Region outfit who only registered a 2-2 draw against the Blantyre giants at Kamuzu Stadium in their maiden season.
The last time they met, Bullets won 2-0 and it was in this season in which Chitipa United got relegated to the Premier Division.
Bullets are coming from a disappointing 3-3 draw with rivals Wanderers in a match where they had a commanding lead before surrendering it to their crosstown rivals and they will look to put everything aside and progress to the semis where there is a possibility of another Blantyre Derby depending on Wanderers vs Kamuzu Barracks result.
To reach this stage, both teams had to rely on penalties following a 1-1 and 4-4 result in the regulation time. Chitipa United won 3-2 against Kawinga United whilst Bullets won 4-2 against Moyale Barracks.
Sunday, 21st August, 2022
Nyasa Big Bullets Reserves vs Blue Eagles at Kamuzu Stadium
It’s never an easy task when facing a Super League side, and even more so when facing Blue Eagles. Bullets Reserves confidently booked their spot in the last 8, defeating a top flight side Red Lions 1-0 at Balaka Stadium.
The Premier Division side dominated and tormented their opponents but they lacked the finishing composure due to lack of experience against a league side.
This will not be the first time for these two teams to meet in a knockout competition after they faced each other in 2018 in Fisd Cup in which Eagles triumphed 7-6 on penalties at the same venue following a 1-1 result in the regulation time.
Four years down the line, they meet again in what promises to be one of the most exciting matches in this competition.
Eagles will be wary of the opponent, but either side’s recent run of form in all competitions will see only the best progressing to the next stage of the competition.
To reach this stage, Eliya Kananji’s side scored a later winner to beat Ekwendeni Hammers 2-1 at Mzuzu Stadium.
Changalume Barracks vs Extreme FC at Balaka Stadium
After knocking out two Super League teams, Changalume Barracks will be looking forward to having a go at fellow Premier Division side, Extreme FC. The Southern Region’ side excellent form sees them in top spot in the Thumbs Up League Group 2 while their opponents’ form has dropped them down in the perking order of Chipiku Central Region Football League.
Changalume Barracks are unbeaten in their last six league matches are hot favorites going into this match.
But they should worry of their opposition who finished as runners up in the Central Region league in the 2020/21 season and on a good day, they can score goals for fun.
It will be an opportunity for them to show how strong the Central Region league is against the military side.
To reach this stage, Extreme FC defeated Kadona Stars on penalties.
For the second time running, the competition is assured of having a non-league side in the semis because the winner between Changalume Barracks and Extreme FC will progress to the last four where they will meet the winner between Bullets Reserves and Blue Eagles.
The winner of the competition will walk away with MK25 million and a beautiful trophy.
Silver Strikers were the winners in its inaugural year after beating Ekwendeni Hammers 2-0.
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