By Antony Isaiah Jr:……..
Four teams, Blue Eagles, Dedza Dynamos, Silver Strikers and Kamuzu Barracks are battling it out for two semifinal slots of the Airtel Top-8 Cup season five to complete the set as Nyasa Big Bullets and Mighty Mukuru Wanderers have already made their AirtelMoney transactions.
The defending Champions, Kalisto Pasuwa’s boys hammered Karonga United 8-1 on aggregate to boot their place while Mighty Mukuru Wanderers beat Mafco 4-0 on aggregate.
Blue Eagles will travel to Dedza to face Dedza Dynamos in the second leg and they are leading by three goals after an emphatic 3-0 win at home while Silver Strikers are traveling to Champions Stadium in Mponela to face Kamuzu Barracks and the game is at 1-all.
After missing the Super League Championship, Eagles have set their sight on the Airtel Top-8 Cup as part of rewarding their new Inspector General. They once won the tournament in 2018 after beating Nyasa Big Bullets through a controversial penalty that Misheck Duwa awarded to the Cops in the late stages of the game.
Dedza Dynamos Salima Sugar Football Club Head Coach, Dan Dzimkambani has admitted that they have a huge task to defeat Blue Eagles as the two teams are battling out for the semifinal slot on Saturday.
It is the return leg and it will be played at Dedza Stadium- Eagles recorded an emphatic 3-0 win over the Salima Sponsored side fortnight ago at Nankhaka ground and a team to go through between the two sides, will face Harrison’s Mighty Mukuru Wanderers in the semifinals of the Airtel Top-8 Cup season five.
“It will be a huge task for us,” said Dzimkambani. “The preparations have gone very well and everybody is focused on this game and we believe that if we play the way we have been training, we can win the game. We conceded three goals in the first game at their home ground but this time, we are at home. We will try as much as possible to use a home-ground advantage. But as I said, it will be a huge task for us.”
This is going to be the fourth meeting between the two teams and the Area 30-based Cops have managed to win three games while the first game which was a league game ended in stalemate.
In their last two meetings, Blue Eagles have managed to score 7 goals against Dzimkambani’s team- scoring 4-0 in league and 3-0 in the first leg. However, Dzimkambani said they are at home and they will try to put effort.
“This is a different game. We lost the two games at their home ground and its just unfortunate that we conceded many goals, but this time around it is going to be a different story, with different approach. We will be very serious. Last time we conceded two silly goals which we could have defended well. I don’t think that we are going to make the same mistakes.
“The attitude has changed in the team for the past weeks and we will try as much as possible to reach the next round,” he added.
The Coach added that Charles Chipala will miss the game due to injury.
Elsewhere, Silver Strikers are also targeting the same trophy as their Coaches were given the target of finishing in top 4- which they failed and winning the Airtel Top-8 Cup but they have to beat Kamuzu Barracks at all cost if they are to date Nyasa Big Bullets in the semifinals.
The Central Bankers came from behind to level the scores at Chitowe Stadium in the first round after Sammy Chiponda had put The Chioko-based Soldiers in front just after three minutes. Chawanangwa Kaonga levelled the scores after 30 minutes.
Coach for Silver Strikers, Leo Mpulura said has been filled with confidence that the Bankers will get the victory over KB on Sunday at Champions Stadium.
“The boys have been showing progress in our training sessions and we are just waiting for Sunday to sail through to the Semifinals,” said Leo.
On his part, Blessings Kawanga, second assistant coach for Kamuzu Baracks said they are looking forward for the win against their opponents.
Kamuzu Baracks have played 7 games at Champions Stadium and they are yet to be beaten at their new house and Kawanga said they will try to keep their record alive.
“We are going there flat-out. We are looking forward to go there with an attacking mind. We are going to score goals in order to win the game. This is a different game, we are not under pressure and we are forward to win the game,” said Kawanga.
The Coach added that Zeliati Nkhoma will miss the game due to injury.