Mighty Be Forward Wanderers are just 90 minutes away from reaching their anticipated land for the Carlsberg Cup party.
But the three times winners will have to negotiate a tricky semi-final fixture to avoid falling prey to giant killers Chitetezo Mbaula Southern Region Football League Premier Division outfit Hangover today at Kamuzu Stadium.
The match is highly anticipated despite Wanderers being favourites on paper, but the lower league outift could not just be dismissed if their pedigree in the campaign is anything to go by.
After overcoming their fellow lower league opponents— Phalombe Open Space 5-0 and Polytechnic FC 6-0, Chitipa United 4-0—Hangover turned themselves into a force to reckon with after booting out TNM Super League sides Moyale Barracks 4-2 on post match penalties and Blue Eagles 1-0.
Team manager for the giant killers, Willard Banda, is confident that his charges are equal to the task despite being weakened by the absence of their talismanic striker Emmanuel Rhino.
“We are prepared for the game against Wanderers to keep our dreams alive of winning the cup,” he said.
He added: “There’s nothing that could scare us against Wanderers having beaten Moyale Barracks and Blue Eagles although our top goal scorer in the competition with seven goals[Emmanuel Rhino] will miss the game because of injury.”
In the absence of Rhino, Banda said the team’s top goalscorer in the lower league, Lapson Richard, will take up responsibility.
Wanderers team manager Steve Madeira said they are aware of the threat posed by Hangover in their bid to reach a consecutive final of the cup.
“In any cup game you cannot treat any team with contempt because you end up being surprised,” he said.
“We will approach the game with the seriousness it deserves for us to qualify and win the cup.
Wanderers started their campaign against Karonga United, beating the TNM Super League side 2-0 in round 32. They thrashed Dwangwa United 4-1 in the round 16 before surviving mighty scare from the marauding Azam Tigers in the quarter-finals in which they came from behind to equalise through veteran striker Esau Kanyenda’s last minute goal.
They went on to win 4-3 through post match penalties to book a place in the semi-finals.