Super League rookies Bvumbwe Researchâ€™s fairytale run in the Presidential Cup continued on Saturday when they thrashed Epac 4-1 to qualify for the quarter-finals.
It was a miserable afternoon for capital city-based teams as Civo United were also booted out of the tournament after going down 2-0 to Red Lions at the formerâ€™s backyard in Lilongwe.
But perhaps the biggest upset of the afternoon was Dave Mpesiâ€™s Chikhwawa United 1-0 victory over Blue Eagles in Nchalo. Pilirani â€˜JJâ€™ Katama scored the lone goal.
In the Blantyre encounter, inspired by their 2-1 win over Mighty Wanderers two weeks ago, the Researchers were in the mood for pillage as they turned on the vintage display that thrilled the turnout at BAT Ground.
TNM Super League leading scorer Vincent Chinthenga drew first blood for Bvumbwe 10 minutes into the game with a simple tap-in following a cross from the right flank. However, Njenjeteâ€”as Epac are popularly knownâ€”drew level 11 minutes later through Christopher Kautsire.
But Mayeso Mphanje struck the second goal for Bvumbwe in the 25th minute and he was on target again nine minutes later from the spot-kick. The penalty was awarded after a dangerous advancing Gift Kwanyasa was fouled by Epacâ€™s goal-tender in a one-on-one situation.
Inspired by their captain Rafique Mussa who was in top form, Bvumbwe continued with their vintage display in the second half and it was not surprising when Chinthenga claimed the fourth in the 76th minute.
Led by Mussa Manyenje and Wister Phiri, Epac tried to come back into the game but were closed down by the alert Bvumbwe defence and their â€˜keeper Ernest Kakhobwe.
Epac coach Abbas Makawa blamed his teamâ€™s loss on officiation.
Makawa, who was reluctant to grant an interview to the media at first, accused one of the assistant referees of being biased towards Bvumbwe.
“When Wanderers complained against officiation after their loss [to Bvumbwe] we thought it was just an excuse, but we have seen it for ourselves today. Anyway, what else can I say. We have lost the game,” said Makawa.
Bvumbwe coach Bob Mpinganjira hailed his charges for their fighting spirit.
In the Lilongwe encounter, Benjamin Kalua put the Reds in the lead barely a minute into the game before Dan Katunga sealed their win in the 50th minute to confirm Civoâ€™s exit.
Chimwemwe Nyakamera and Domsa Joseph scored a goal each against Embangweni to ensure Escom Unitedâ€™s qualification into the quarter-finals.