Nyasa Big Bullets assistant coach Peter Mponda says Silver Strikers’ home ground advantage will have no effect when they face off in the FDH Bank Cup quarter-final this afternoon at Silver Stadium in Lilongwe.
The People’s Team are buoyed by their impressive performance at the Council of East and Central Africa Football Associations (Cecafa) Kagame Cup in Tanzania where they lost in the final to Express FC of Uganda 1-0.
Statistically, the Central Bankers have a good home record against Bullets. Silver have two wins from their last five games against Bullets, drawing two and losing one.
Said Mponda: “ Playing away does not matter to us and we do not have fatigue as people may think. We know the importance of winning the FDH Bank Cup quarter-final and the Cecafa hangover is over.”
He also explained that they are aware of Silver’s desperation to progress in the cup “because their chances of winning the TNM Super League are slowly becoming slim”.
In the Super League, Bullets lead the pack with 48 points from 22 games while Silver are second with 46 points from 24 matches.
But his Silver counterpart McDonald Yobe said they have an edge as hosts.
“We know Bullets are hard to beat, but we cannot afford to lose at home. All our players are physically, mentally and tactically ready for this battle,” he said.
With striker Chiukepo Msowoya not available for the clash as he is still mourning his mother, Bullets who died last week, bank their hopes on the likes of Bright ‘Bweke’ Munthali, Hassan Kajoke and Chimwemwe Idana.
On the other hand, Silver will look up to Super League leading scorer Maxwell Gasten Phodo, Stain Davie and Chikondi Kamanga.
When they met in the league, Silver won the first round encounter 1-0 while Bullets came from behind to win 2-1 a fortnight ago in the reverse fixture.
Winners of this afternoon’s clash take on Mighty Wanderers in the semi-final. The other last-four encounter is between Ekwendeni Hammers and second-tier league side Rumphi United.
FDH Bank plc senior marketing manager Ronald Chimchere said they are happy that the cup is progressing well.
Losing quarter-finalists will each walk away with K1 million while man-of-the-match will get K50 000 and a miniature trophy. Eventual champions will take home K25 million.