Victor Limbani’s brace in the second half and a superb strike from Mike Roberts sent Silver Strikers into the finals of the Carlsberg Cup after beating Mafco FC 3-1 yesterday at Civo Stadium in Lilongwe.
It was a well deserved victory for Silver who were the most dominant and had the most chances. The Bankers will face defending champions Be Forward Wanderers in the finals on September 10.
They played a pressing passing game that forced the Malawi Defence Force (MDF) outfit into rearguard action.
Thuso Paipi, Limbani, Duncan Nyoni and Levison Maganizo thrust brightly and were a wonder to behold and Mafco’s defence comprising Vitumbiko Phiri, Yohane Malunga and Zikhole Nguluwe could hardly contain the quartet.
Mafco appeared out of sorts as their midfield, which had Paul Phiri, Patrick Masanjala and Benard Harawa, was overun by the Bankers’ sheer pace.
Despite Mafco’s lukewarm performance, it had to take 74 minutes for Silver to find the net.
It was a pure team work effort. Nyoni’s long ball found Binwell Katinji in the Mafco goal area. Katinji then invitingly laid it into the path Limbani who shot into the roof of the net.
Limbani was at it again five minutes later, this time capatilising on a fumble by Mafco ‘keeper Dalitso Makunganya to make it 2-0.
Mafco never gave up and they pulled one back through Patrick Masanjala in the 83rd minute.
However, Roberts sealed the Bankers’ victory after volleying the winner in the 89th minute. Paipi was the architect when he set up Roberts with a fine pass.
Silver coach Lovemore Fazili gave credit to his players for a job well done.
“The game plan was to attack more. During training it was all about attacking. Though we missed a lot of chances, but we managed three goals which was good. I am very happy, “ said Fazili in a post-match brief.
Mafco chairperson Captain Peter Ng’oma, who spoke on behalf of the technical panel, admitted being outplayed.
“We were simply not into the game. I think the players were affected psychologically. We have been subject of so much attention. A lot of things have happened. But that’s the way things work out sometimes. We just need to focus on the league,” said Ng’oma.