Only the strongest survived.
TNM Super League teams kissed the Fisd Challenge Cup goodbye, eight others took wing to the round of 16 at the weekend after nerve-shredding battles.
Be Forward Wanderers, Civil Service (Civo) United and Kamuzu Barracks (KB) yesterday became the last three top-flight league sides to sail through after beating Karonga United, Mzuzu University (Mzuni) FC and Red Lions, respectively.
The three teams join Nyasa Big Bullets, Silver Strikers, Dwangwa United, Blue Eagles and Epac FC who qualified on Saturday. The eight flagship league sides will be drawn alongside the eight teams that qualified at regional level.
At Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre, Wanderers displayed an awesome show of force to see off Ingwena from Karonga without hardly breaking sweat.
The Nomads went for Karonga’s throats from the off and barely five minutes into the game, Khumbo Ng’ambi drew first blood when he took advantage of a defensive lapse by Hygene Mwendepeka to fire the ball home from about 20 metres.
Battle-hardened midfielder Joseph Kamwendo, who appears to be getting better with age like old vintage wine, scored the second for the Lali Lubani Road outfit, albeit from an acute angle with a superb shot that first hit the upright before sailing into the net—leaving Karonga goaltender Kingsley Phiri stunned. It was a beauty that took the fans down memory lane.
And 14 minutes into the second half, Ng’ambi claimed a brace, to make it 3-0 and the Nomads were home and dry.
Karonga coach Kondwani ‘Toorman’ Mwalweni blamed his charges for lacking maturity.
“We did not play with any purpose nor commitment. I don’t know what the problem is, I guess I will have to find out from my players,” he said.
On his part, Nomads coach Eddingtone Ng’onamo hailed his charges for playing to instructions.
At Civo Stadium in Lilongwe, Civo ended their miserable run with a sweet 2-0 victory over Mzuni that cheered their long-suffering fans.
It was the civil servants first victory since they engaged Charles Manda as coach after firing Millias Pofera-Jegwe.
Raphael Phiri and Righteous Banda were on target for Civo.
KB beat Lions 2-0 at Balaka Stadium, courtesy of goals from Harvey Nkacha and Vincent Mphepo.
Three matches involving Super League teams had to be decided through penalty shoot-outs on Saturday.
Nyasa Big Bullets beat PremierBet Wizards 5-4, Dwangwa ousted Mafco FC 4-3 while Epac FC beat Moyale Barracks 5-4.
In other games, Silver Strikers edged Max Bullets 1-0 while Blue Eagles beat Azam Tigers 2-0. n