Ghanaian forward Michael Tetteh’s priceless goal on Sunday was enough to propel Silver Strikers to the finals of the Airtel Top 8 after seeing off Masters Security’s spirited display at Civo Stadium in Lilongwe.
The Bankers will face Karonga United who beat Mzuni FC in another semi-final contest 5-4 on post-match penalties on Saturday.
It will be Silver’s second appearance in the finals, having won the inaugural tournament in 2017 after beating Be Forward Wanderers 10-9 through post-match penalties.
In Sunday’s match, The first half was more about cancelling each other and blocking the opposing side from dominating possession.
But as time wore on and legs began to tire, the game was opening up and each side was finding the attacking rhythm.
Midfielders Cuthbert Sinetre and Amadu Makawa were the most aggressive men on Masters part as they, on several occasions, drove forward but were let down by their team-mates who regularly lost the ball.
Silver were the most industrious side offensively. Tetteh, Duncan Nyoni and Thuso Paipi were finding the much-needed space to run at the defence.
And they were dully rewarded when they opened the scoring sheet in the 27th minute. Midfielder Victor Limbani raced onto a Khuda Muyaba pass and his pin-point cross found Tetteh.
The Ghanaian had all the time in the world to calmly control the ball and, from close range, hook it into the net.
Masters pushed for an equaliser, but the more they did that the more they were closed down but the solidity of the Central Bankers’ defence marshalled by Mike Roberts, Hebert Wayekha and Sheriff Yinusa.
Instead, it was Silver who came closest to scoring when Tetteh was freed in the 18-yard box but his ferocious long-range drive went narrowly wide.
Masters assistant coach Elia Kananji accepted defeat, saying: “We thank our players for playing according to instructions. We could not utilise the few chances that we created. We will now switch focus to the TNM Super League.”
On his part, Silver assistant coach Lovemore Fazili hailed his players for their fighting spirit.
“It was a tough match, but a win is a win regardless of the margin. Now, we have to start preparing for the final match against Karonga United,” he said.