Silver Strikers’ dream of banking double silverware in the 2021 season has been revived after they reduced the gap between them and TNM Super League leaders Nyasa Big Bullets to just a point.
The Bankers, who face Ekwendeni Hammers in the FDH Bank Cup final, yesterday continued from where they stopped when they beat Mighty Wanderers 3-0 in the cup’s semi-on Sunday, by inflicting the same dose on relegated Ntopwa FC at Nankhaka in Lilongwe.
With struggling Bullets having dropped points after a one-all draw against Mafco at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre, Silver are now dreaming of finishing the season with double silverware.
Bullets still lead with 56 points, but with a game in hand, while Silver are second with 55 points.
The Bankers are remaining with two games; away against Moyale Barracks and Ekwendeni Hammers at home, while Bullets have assignments against rivals Mighty Wanderers, Karonga United at home, and away to Kamuzu Barracks.
Silver assistant coach McDonald Yobe said the Bankers just have to ensure they win their remaining two games, and hope that Bullets keep dropping points.
“We just have to win our remaining two matches and see what will happen at the end of it all,” he said.
Silver had no mercy against relegated Ntopwa as Stain Davie opened the floodgates just three minutes into the match, followed by goals from Frank Banda and Blessings Tembo as the first-half ended with the Bankers leading 3-0.
In the second-half, they took a step back, and did not do much except to protect the 3-0 lead.
At Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre, Bullets took time to shake off the hangover from their last weekend’s 3-1 loss to AmaZulu in the CAF Champions league.
Mafco, on the other hand, started strongly and got a goal just 10 minutes into the match when Stain Malata pounced on a corner, after a lapse in Bullets defence.
But Mafco gave up the lead after Paul Ndlovu and Maurice Chiumia left striker Babatunde Adepoje Adebare unmarked, and the Nigerian chested in a Hassan Kajoke cross, beating Jailosi Kapalamula in goals.
Bullets’ Zimbabwean coach Callisto Pasuwa was left frustrated after the team’s poor showing.
He said: “Very scrappy game. We are failing to get into the rhythm. Since we played that international match, we are lacking confidence. Dependable players like Chimwemwe Idana, who most of the time tick, were struggling.”
The tactician admitted that defending the title was becoming tougher with just three games to wrap up the season.
“We have three games to wind up the season but the worrisome thing is that we are dropping points in games we need to collect maximum points,” he said.
Meanwhile, at Mpira Stadium in Chiwembe, Blantyre, Mighty Wanderers recovered from their disappointing weekend exit in the FDH Bank Cup and collected maximum points, after beating Mighty Tigers 1-0 through a Peter Cholopi’s strike.
Wanderers coach Bob Mpinganjira thanked his charges for a perfect response after the loss to Silver in the FDH Bank Cup.
“It was a tough game. Tigers are a very good side. I have to thank my players for the victory and getting maximum points.
“We needed to win this game, considering the position which we are on. We need to push upwards,” he said.