Silver Strikers survived Karonga United’s relentless attack to win the Airtel Top 8 Trophy for the second time in three years.
Khuda Muyaba scored the only goal of the match in the 42nd minute for the Bankers to pocket K15m prize money in a tough encounter at Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe.
Karonga United entered the hallowed turfs of Bingu National Stadium as underdogs and for the to the tag.first 20 minutes they lived up
Buoyed by the partisan fans, Silver’s pressing game saw them invading Karonga territory now and again, but they could not score from the many chances created.
In the 2nd minute, midfielder Duncan Nyoni failed to score from a free kick taken just outside the box.
Khuda Muyaba could also not compose himself when a Thuso Paipi free kick found him unmaraked in the box, while Michael Tetteh missed a clear chance when he headed wide a Nyoni cross in the 9th minute.
Gradually under the stewardship of former Silver Strikers coach Dan Dzinkambani, the Igwina of Karonga came into the game with some scintillating football ripping the Bankers defence apart on several occasions, but William Mwalwimba, Mischek Selemani and Azizi Mwakufuna could not provide that final touch to break through.
Silver regrouped and with three minutes before recess, Muyaba atoned for his earlier misses to score.
Relief was visible as the technical staff and supporters went wild in celebrations.
In the second half, Karonga substituted striker Gentulo Andrea for defender Lottie Mwakisulu and winger Gule Mwaluska for midfielder Bernard Msiska.
The substitution rejuvenated Karonga to put Silver defence
of Yunus Sherrif, Herbert Wayekha and Mike Roberts panicking as they conceded
three freekicks and two corners in a space of six
But the agility of Brightone Munthali in goals for Silver saved the situation.
Khumbo Msowoya, Victor Lungu and Seleman’s dribbling mastery and telepathy were just outstanding as they tore Silver at will.
Silver made a double substitution in the 67th minute with Kondwani Mwaila replacing Paipi and Levison Maganizo coming in for Victor Limbani.
Karonga kept on pushing for a goal but Silver held on for the famous win.
In a post-match interview, Silver coach Lovemore Fazili said the game was tough.
“We knew it will be tough. They are a very good side with a very good coach. They play as a team and it was not surprising that they put up a good fight. The important thing is that we have won. Cup finals are not easy,” he said.
On his part, Dzinkambani said he was disappointed with the loss as the best team lost.
“We did everything possible, but it just didn’t work. I am happy and very proud of my boys. They did put up a great performance and it’s unfortunate to lose this game.”