The dice has been cast. Nyasa Big Bullets and Silver Strikers will clash in Airtel Top 8 quarter-finals following a colourful draw held last evening at the Protea Ryalls in Blantyre.
The draw, which was live on MBC television, saw Super League champions Kamuzu Barracks paired against Blue Eagles in match one while Malawi Defence Force (MDF) sides Mafco and Moyale Barracks clash in the second quarter-final.
With Silver Strikers, Be Forward Wanderers, Nyasa Big Bullets and Azam Tigers remaining in the pot, tension filled the hotel’s Kabula Room on what the remaining fixtures would bring.
But when draw masters Peter Kanjere and Garry Chirwa picked Wanderers to face Azam Tigers, the Nomads team manager Steve Madeira could not hide his relief as he jumped in jubilation having avoided Bullets and Silver who face each other in the last quarter-final.
“It was going to be tough playing either Bullets or Silver,” confessed Madeira after the draw.
But Tigers coach Patrick Kulemeka warned Madeira not to underrate the Kaukau Boys.
Reacing to the draw, Silver team manager Francis Songo warned Bullets that the war was at their door.
“Bullets yatola joker,” he screamed.
But in response, Bullets coach Nsanzurwimo Ramadhan was unperturbed, saying: “I don’t have much to say. Football is played on the pitch. So, be prepared.”
KB assistant coach Ted Kalinda and Blue Eagles general secretary Ulemu Kalua welcomed the all-Lilongwe draw.
Moyale Barracks team manager Richard Kapesa and Mafco coach Temwa Msuku said the all-MDF sides clash would be exciting considering that they play similar styles of football.
In his speech just before the draw, Airtel marketing director Emmanuel Kasambara said fans should expect fireworks.
“Over the up and coming weeks and months expect to be entertained, suprised and engaged as part of Airtel Top 8 action,” he said.
The draw for the semi-finals will be conducted soon after the two-legged quarter-final matches which will played on May 13 and 14, and May 20 and 21. n