Blue Eagles are this afternoon seeking to avenge their quarter-final defeat in last year’s Standard Bank Knockout Cup at the hands of Silver Strikers as the two clash at Silver Stadium in Lilongwe.
Eagles assistant coach Wilson Chidati said yesterday memories are still fresh when their hosts and defending champions inflicted them with a 1-2 beating enroute to winning the cup.
“The defeat in last year’s quarter-final came as a surprise to us because Silver scored their goals against the run of play. We dominated that match only to lose it easily in the end,” he said.
“We will not let this happen again this Saturday when we will play on the same pitch where we experienced the nightmare. Our charges, including Schumacher Kuwali, John Banda and Junior Malidadi remember what happened last year and they are set to reverse the situation.”
Eagles won the Standard Bank Cup in 2011 the only cup their only silverware in the last 19 years.
However, Silver Strikers, who have just ushered in a new technical panel headed by former Flames coach Young Chimodzi, believe they have quality with which to retain the cup.
Since Chimodzi and Lovemore Fazili took over the mantle, the Bankers have won all their three Super League games so far.
Silver lost their TNM Super League first round match 2-3 against the cops, but their general secretary Fred Kalonga feels it will be a different story in today’s showdown.
“In the past few years, Eagles have not beaten us in two consecutive games. This is exactly what will happen on Saturday. We have a full squad following the return of Lucky Malata and Mike Ntonya from injuries.
“Green Harawa and Wonder Jelemani has also been released from the Flames camp. Nothing will stop us on Saturday,” Kalonga said.
Just like Silver Strikers, Mighty Be Forward Wanderers are bidding for a third Standard Bank Cup glory as they meet Red Lions, who are yet to win the cup, in the other last-eight encounter at Kamuzu Stadium today.
Wanderers coach Elia Kananji, whose team is coming from a consecutive Super League defeat, said despite missing the services of six key players due to injuries and suspensions, they will do their best to win today and soothe hearts of their disappointed supporters.
“We will go into this quarter-final without the services of Jabulani Linje, Francis Mlimbika, Rafiq Mussa and Ishmael Thindwa, who are nursing injuries. Bongani Kaipa and Mapopa Kaunda will also not be available as they are serving suspensions for collecting two yellow cards and a red card respectively.
“Despite that, we are ready to make our supporters happy. With the available players, we have worked hard on rectifying our major problem; scoring,” Kananji said.
Red Lions’ trainer Collins Nkuna said his side has recuperated from last weekend’s 4-2 league loss to Big Bullets and will get into Standard Bank Cup quarter-finals with all guns blazing.
“We have left no stone unturned to progress into the semi-finals,” said Nkuna, whose side has not won a single trophy in all domestic competitions in years.”
Silver were the inaugural champions in 2007 before winning the title in 2014. Wanderers did it in 2012 and 2013. Moyale earned the glory in 2008 and 2010 while Azam Tigers were champions in 2009.
In the first quarter-final match yesterday, Civo booted out Dedza Young Soccer with a 2-0 win to qualify for the semis. Gerald Nkungula and Nelson Kangunje were on target for Civo at Civo Stadium in Lilongwe. n