Be Forward Wanderers are getting closer to the Carlsberg Cup defence with each game. Yesterday, they became the first team to reach the semi-finals of the cup following a narrow 1-0 victory over 10-man Prison United at Balaka Stadium.
The game seemed to be heading for a 0-0 stalemate until Nomads’ saviour striker Peter Wadabwa escaped from Prison defenders to head in the opener in the 78th minute.
The goal was Wadabwa’s third in the cup after he also scored a goal against Wanderers Reserve in round of 32 and Kamuzu Barracks in round of 16. He is now the only player to have scored in all the 2016 Carlsberg Cup games this far.
Minutes later, the Zomba-based Southern Region Football League rookies were dealt a blow after their player Masa Banda was shown a second yellow card.
Wanderers assistant coach Eliah Kananji said he had anticipated that the highly motivated rookies would not be pushovers as they wanted to make history by causing an upset.
“It was a tough game. Prison United is a good side. We did not play well in the first half. But we thank God for victory,” he said.
Prison assistant coach Julius Magombo blamed the loss on the red card, saying it destabilised their game plan.
But the Zomba-based prison warders can still go home with some respect having tamed the free-scoring Nomads pair of Jimmy Zakazaka and Wadabwa.
They were also denied by Harry Nyirenda who was called to duty to clear on the line earlier in the first-half.
The battle for the semi-final slot continues today as Red Lions host Silver Strikers while Wizards FC face Mangochi Police at MDC Stadium.
Wanderers play the winner between Wizards and Mangochi Police while the winner between Silver and Red Lions will play the winner between Mafco and Bullets.
The other semi-final between Nyasa Big Bullets and Mafco failed to take place after Football Association of Malawi called off the game due to violence that erupted between the two sides at Chitowe.
FAM competitions manager Gomezgani Zakazaka said the competitions subcommittee would hold a meeting on Monday to decide when and where the game should be played. n