Karonga United have become the first Super League team to exit the Castel Cup round of 64 after losing to Simso Innobuild League side Ekwendeni United Football Club on Saturday at Rumphi Stadium.
Karonga lost 4-2 on penalties after a goalless draw in regulation time.
An entertaining game saw both teams failing to break the deadlock in both halves with Ekwendeni’s Edward Mkandawire’s shots missing the post by centimeters thrice and Mwisho Youngson coming close after being laid by Saulos Moyo in 77th minute only to shoot direct into Khwima Kita’s palms.
Karonga’s introduction of Victor Chirambo, Josiah Duwa and Sinto Chipola for Elie Kayombo, Davie Tobias and Nangie Songa in the second half seemed to have put Ekwendeni under siege but they lacked the killer punch to finish the game despite being dominant so at fulltime it ended goalless.
In post-match penalties, Ekwendeni United’s Isaac Msiska, Dan Siwale, Mathews Mkandawire and Jeff Zida Munthali converted their penalties while Josiah Duwa and Allen Chihana converted their kicks with Elias Muyiwanga and Nanison Mbewe blasted their spots over the post.
The win means Ekwendeni United have progressed to round of 32.
Trevor Kajawa, Karonga United coach, accepted the defeat saying his team missed chances and he attributed the loss to lack of focus.
“We had a number of chances, we missed chances and in penalties it’s a lottery game. Going forward, we will work out on our shortfalls in the league, I think morale is still down in my players after that loss against Red Lions but it will be okay.” Kajawa said.
Ekwendeni United team manager Sammez Gogo Mthiko Soko said the win is a good motivation to his players but conceded that his side struggled in the second half.
“I’m delighted we have won. We played well but our opponents came hard in the second half. This win will motivate us to do well in the league,” a visibly excited Soko said.
Ekwendeni United will wait for the winner between Luviri and the winner in a play off between Hope FC and Khuyu Cobras.
Earlier at the same venue, Simso Innobuild side Raiply FC edged out Mwazisi United by a goal to nil courtesy of Christopher Sichone.