Ekwendeni Hammers on Saturday reached the inaugural K90 million FDH Cup final after beating Rumphi United 3-2 on penalties at Karonga Stadium after a goalless draw in open play.
Ekwendeni goalkeeper Chancy Mteteh was the hero of the match after saving three penalties.
The game, which saw Ekwendeni Hammers’ three goals disallowed, was forced into penalty shoot-outs by the well organised Northern Region Premier League side.
Tonic Viyuyi and Trouble Kajani’s wastefulness proved to be costly to the team as they missed four out of their six spot kicks.
Ekwendeni Hammers scored through Chancy Kaunga, Wongani Lungu and Michael Tetteh while Chawanangwa Gumbo, Emmanuel Kaunga and Jack Maulana saw their penalties saved.
Rumphi United netted their penalties through Kajani and Gerald Ngwira while Saviour Chaula, Alick Harawa, Mwiza Ngala and Zikani Mponda failed to score.
Ekwendeni Hammers striker Eneya Banda was named Man of the Match.
Ekwendeni will face the winners between Silver Strikers and Mighty Wanderers in another semi-final clash.
In a post-match interview, Ekwendeni coach Etson Kadenge Mwafulirwa thanked his charges for a good performance, but complained of poor officiation.
“We have been robbed of victory, otherwise we won the game right away in the normal time. We were denied three clear goals. Still more, it is good that we have progressed to the final and we look forward to the game,” he said.
On the other hand, Rumphi United coach Jimmy Butao conceded the defeat, saying his boys did not play well.
“We did not play as planned. We gave our opponents too much respect; hence, the defeat,” he said.
The overall winner is set to pocket K25 million while the runners-up will walk away with K8 million. Semi-finalists will pocket K2 million and quarter-finalists will get K1 million.