Civil Sporting Club and Kamuzu Barracks were the only teams to lose at home in the quarter-final first legs of the 2018 edition of the Airtel Top 8.
Ironically, all the four matches ended in 1-0 margins, translating to four goals which were seven less compared to the inaugural edition last year.
The Civil Servants lost to Silver Strikers in a launch game at Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe via Newman Mwamsamale’s goal which was the first in the tournament while KB lost to Wanderers at Civo Stadium also in Lilongwe.
Nyasa Big Bullets and Blue Eagles won their matches at home against Moyale Barracks and Mafco FC in that order.
Apart from Civil, all the other losers are Malawi Defence Force (MDF)-sponsored sides.
Civil team manager Gabriel Chirwa yesterday said they believe the result could have been different had they hosted the Bankers at their Civo Stadium backyard.
“It was like we were playing ‘home’ away from home because our players are not used to Bingu Stadium since that was our first competitive match. But looking at the circumstances, we had no choice because it was a launch game.
“Nevertheless, we will try to turn the tables in the second leg,” he said.
Nomads’ Joseph Kamwendo is the only player to have scored in both quarter-finals first legs. Last year, he scored the opening goal from a free-kick against Azam Tigers in which the Nomads came out 2-0 winners.
Kamwendo’s goal against KB on Sunday was from the spot-kick, the only goal scored through a penalty so far.
The other three scorers in this year’s first leg ties were Patrick Phiri (Bullets), Mwamsamale (Silver) and John Malidadi Jnr (Blue Eagles).
Four players have already received K50 000 each for being named man-of-the-match and these are Young Chimodzi Jnr (Silver), John Lanjesi (Bullets), Lucky Malata (Wanderers) and Vitumbiko Kumwenda (Eagles). All of them came from winning sides. n