Emmanuel Gasten’s late strike ensured Mzuni FC’s qualification to the semi-finals of the Airtel Top 8 yesterday on away goal rule at the expense of Civil Sporting Club at Civo Stadium in Lilongwe.
The two teams played out a goalless draw in the first leg in Mzuzu last week.
Gasten’s goal cancelled out a Ranken Mwale strike which came a minute earlier.
It was a blow to the hosts who had created most chances and dominated the game for long periods.
Mwale scored in the 83rd minute after Mzuni defenders failed to clear a Blessings Tembo free-kick in the box and he was well-positioned to cooly beat Mzuni goalkeeper Leonard Manda.
But as the Civil Servants’ fans were still celebrating that goal, Gasteni levelled the score with a strike of utter beauty.
Generally, the match was a big yawn and it failed to stir the passions, but the hosts appeared in control.
Mzuni coach Gilbert Chirwa was all joy after the match and commended his charges for not losing focus when they were a goal down.
“They still kept their nerve after conceding that goal. We responded well and got an equaliser which was a beauty. I am happy that we are through,” he said.
Civil Sporting coach Franco Ndawa wore a sad face and blamed the goal on laxity.
“After scoring, we failed to recover in time to defend our goal. It was painful. We didn’t deserve to lose this game. The boys did everything, but things just didn’t go our way,” he said.
Mzuni becomes the second team to qualify for the semis after Karonga United, who coincidentally, also qualified on away goal rule against TN Stars. n