Mighty Wanderers are on course to meet their old-age rivals Big Bullets in the semi-finals of the K20 million (about $67 000) Standard Bank Knockout Cup.
The Nomads beat Escom United 2-1 in Balaka on Saturday to qualify 3-2 on aggregate having been held to a one-all draw in the first leg last weekend.
The Lali Lubani Road outfit will meet winners of the last quarter-final showdown between Bullets and Epac today (Sunday) afternoon. The Peopleâ€™s Team have an advantage having won the first leg 1-0.
Silver Strikers will face capital city rivals Civo United in another potentially explosive semi-final contest next weekend.
Defending champions Blue Eagles were booted out of the showcase 4-2 on aggregate when they were held to a one-all draw by the Bankers at Nankhaka on Saturday. Silver won the first leg 3-1 last weekend.
Civo took wing to the semis courtesy of an away goal rule. They held Moyale one-all in the first leg and showed characteristic grit to move forward after the second leg ended goalless on Saturday.
Relief was the prevalent emotion in the Nomads camp as the contest cruised towards its evitable conclusion and the win torched wild celebrations in the blue side of town.
Gerald â€˜Amandoâ€™ Chimbaka drew first blood for the Nomads after 15 minutes with a delicious header and barely five minutes later Victor Mpinganjira added the second.
And as the Nomads appeared to be in the comfort zone, the Electricians pulled one back through Chiukepo Msowoya from the spot-kick in the second half..
The penalty was awarded after Nomads defender Francis Mulimbika had fouled a dangerously advancing Escom striker and Chiukepoâ€”who was making his first appearance after ending his romance with South African top-flight league side Orlando Piratesâ€”did the rest to perfection.
Escom fought for an equaliser but the Nomads held on by the skin of their teeth until the very end.
Wanderers chairperson George Chamangwana was excited with the victory.
â€œIt was a very tough game, but I salute the boys for playing their lungs out and now we have to start preparing for the semi-final match,â€ said Chamangwana.
There were tears of despair at Nankhaka as the cops kissed the Standard Bank Cup goodbye.
Eagles started at full throttle and took the lead through Charles Ngosi in the first half, but Harvey Nkacha struck a vicious volley from 35 metres to dent the cops hopes of a comeback.
Silverâ€™s coach Frank â€˜Francoâ€™ Ndawa said he was satisfied with the result.
â€œWe knew it would be a very tough match because we were playing the defending champions at their own backyard and they were prepared to fight their lungs out,â€ said Ndawa
In the match between, Civo and Moyale, the centre of focus was Fifa referee Dennis Ngulube who took a firm line. No wonder at the end of the match, Moyaleâ€™s assistant coach Themba Ntontholo could not help but shower praise on the whistleman.
â€œSpecial mention should go to the officiating personnel, especially the referee, he took quite a firm line.
â€œWe tried our best, but unfortunately we could not make good use of the chances we created. I think we also did not have an ounce of luck,â€ said Ntontholo.
It is not all doom and gloom for the losing quarter-finalists as they will each get a K250 000 (about $833) consolation.