By Antony Isiah jr
The 2022 Prestigious FDH Bank Cup rings its climax this weekend as eight teams,, Mighty Wanderers, Nyasa Big Bullets, Blue Eagles, Chitipa United, Nyasa Big Bullets Reserve, Kamuzu Barracks, Changalume Barracks, Extreme FC have set their eyes on the semifinal slots.
There will be two mouth-watering fixtures on Saturday as Mighty Wanderers welcome Kamuzu Barracks at Kamuzu While Chitipa United are at home against Bullets. The Quarterfinal phase will be wrapped up on Sunday as Enos Chatama’s Bullets Reserve target to tame Eagles while Extreme FC and Changalume Barracks taken each other in another tough fixture.
Mighty Mukuru Wanderers vs Kamuzu Barracks
The game game between Mighty Wanderers and Kamuzu Barracks is always hot and the intensity and tempo of the game is being coupled by the current forms of the two teams.
With the reshuffling of the technical panel at Mighty Wanderers, things have started to improve as Alex Ngwira is discharging his duties as the Head Coach of the team, assisted by Albert Mpinganjira.
Wanderers have played two games under the mentorship of the former Mzuzu Warriors and Chitipa United Coach. They recorded a convincing 3-0 victory in Dedza against Dedza Dynamos in the Round of 16 of the tournament before avoiding a defeat to their cross-town rivals, Nyasa Big Bullets in the tnm Super League as they came from behind to play a 3-all stalemate.
Kamuzu Barracks stunned Wanderers in the first round of the tnm Super League and the Lali Luban based boys are eager to stage and revenge and book a slot in the semifinals of the tournament.
Knowing that the last addition of a silverware into their locker was back on December 23, 2018 when they beat Silver Strikers in the Fisd Challenge Cup, Mighty Wanderers will come flat-out and force a win to convince their fans that they can win something this as League appears to be too far for them. They are 16 points behind the leaders.
Alex Ngwira, Head Coach for Mighty Wanderers says his target is to cruise to the Semifinals of the competition.
“We respect Kamuzu Barracks, ” said Ngwira. “Preparations are going well and the morale is high and their is cooperation among us. We are more than ready to battle for the place in the semifinals, ” added Ngwira.
He added that the target of Mighty Wanderers is to reach the finals of this prestigious Cup.
Kamuzu Barracks who beat Civil Service United to book their place in the quarterfinals said they equally ready to battle their place to reach the semifinals of FDH Bank for the first time as last season they were beaten by Mafco in the Round of 32.
Charles Kamanga, Head Coach for Chioko Boys predicts a tough game.
“It will a tough game,” said Kamanga. “We have prepared well for the game. We beat them in the League and this is a different game. We are prepared to do well and we know that they are doing well,” added Kamanga.
Kamanga further said that they target to reach the finals of FDH Bank Cup.
For the past 26 meetings between the two teams in all competetions, Mighty Wanderers have a record of 14 wins while KB have 6 wins with 6 games ending in stalemate.
In Cup games, Mighty Wanderers are yet to taste a defeat to Kamuzu Barracks as they have been on the front foot when they meet.
In 2013, goals from Mike Kaziputa and Cusbert Kanyama Sineta were enought for Mighty Wanderers to boot out KB from the Standard Bank before repeating their feat in 2016 in Carlsberg Cup.
In the same year, the Nomads cruise past KB on penalties when they met in Fisd Challenge Cup before recording another victory in 2017 in Big 4 Bonanza played at Bingu National Stadium.
The only win for KB in Cup against Wanderers was in Fam Chairty Shield when they recorded a 1-0 victory in 2018 courtesy of Diof Semaone’s strike.
In the same year, Nomads beat KB home and away to book a place in the finals of the Airtel Top 8 Cup where they went on to lose to Silver Strikers on penalties.
Chitipa United vs Nyasa Big Bullets
The Northern Region team, Chitipa United have vowed to become the first team to beat Bullets in the ongoing 2022 season as they welcome the hungry lions at Rumphi Stadium.
A Trip to the North for Bullets have been hit by injury crisis as four of their key players have failed to make it due to injuries.
Pacey attacker, Patrick Mwaungulu, midfielder Yankho Singo, Goalkeeper Clever Mkungula and Defender Idaac Badu are the names not appearing on the squad but they have been boosted by the coming of John Lanjesi who missed Blantyre Derby due to lack of match fitness.
There were talks of foul being played on the venue as Chitipa United were claiming that they registered Karonga as their home ground but Fam’s response was that they have the mandate to chose any venue for the match.
Bullets are coming from a 3-all stalemate against Mighty Wanderers in Super League and there have been many critics on the way their defence is leaking, conceding 7 goals in two games.
Head Coach for the team, Kalisto Pasuwa says his team is in the learning phase, the boys might not be perfect in everything but vows to work on the mental aspects of his charges.
“I think now we also need to work on the mental aspect of it where every time if the team is leading even 3-1, 3-0, we relax and start conceding unnecessary goals. We are in the learning phase, these are some of the aspects of the game which we need to learn something from,” said Pasuwa.
While comfortably leading the Super League with 10 points behind the second placed, Blue Eagles, Nyasa Big Bullets will be eager to avoid the last season’s mistake when they fell down in the quarterfinals of this tournament to Silver Strikers who eventually won it after beating Ekwendeni Hammers.
Chitipa United were relegated to the lower division last year but they have never recorded a win over the Blantyre based giants in their history in all competetions.
With 8 meetings between the two teams, Bullets have beaten Chitipa 6 times and two games were ended in stalemate.
In 2018, they met in the Fisd Challenge Cup and the People’s team mercilessly hammered the Lions of Fort Hill by five goals to nill.
Chitipa United beat TN Stars and Kawinga FC in the Round of 32 and 16 respectively.
Nyasa Big Bullets Reserve vs Blue Eagles
Enos Chatama’s Nyasa Big Bullets Reserve have handed themselves a name “giant killers” Following their recent performance both in their League (Southern Region Football League) and FDB Bank Cup.
Reserve beat two Super League giants, Mighty Waka Waka Tigers and Red Lions in the round of 32 and 15 respectively to find themselves in this phase of the FDH Bank.
Blue Eagles who are flying high in the tnm Super League will look to repeat their 2018 feat when they beat the Junior people’s team on penalties in the Fisd Challenge Cup.
Coach for Eagles, Eliya Kananji says Eagles have set their eyes on the championship of this prestigious Cup but anticipates a rough road to pass as they take on Bullets Reserve.
“It will be a good game as you know that Bullets Reserve are doing well in their league,” said Kananji. “We are not underrating them and we have set our eyes on the Chairmanship of this Cup. We hope to finish the game in the regulation time for us to avoid penalties as they are a rottery game,” added Kananji.
To reach this phase, Blue Eagles have booted out Ekwendeni Hammers and Rumphi United in the Round of 16 and 32 respectively.
Changalume Barracks vs Extreme FC
There is a grantee hope that this year’s FDH Bank Cup semifinals phase will have a team from Regional league as both Extreme FC and Changalume Barracks play their trade in the Central Region and Southern Region Football League respectively.
Extreme FC beat Kadona Stars and the Boys to reach the quarterfinals stage while Changalume Barracks booted out two Super League giants, Karonga United and Mafco to have their place secured in the quarterfinals.
Silver Strikers FC are the defending Champions of the tournament after beating Ekwendeni Hammers in the finals last season to win the Cup but they were booted out by Dedza Dynamos in the Round of 32.