The 2015 Standard Bank Knockout quarter-final rolls into action this afternoon with in-form Civo United hosting rookies Dedza Young Soccer Saints at Civo Stadium in Lilongwe.
Civo are clear favourites in this encounter after their adventurous TNM Super League outing in the Southern Region where they bagged maximum points after beating Fisd Wizards and Mighty Be Forward Wanderers.
However, the Civil Servants are also aware that Dedza Young Soccer Saints are capable of producing an upset.
To reach the quarter-finals, the rookies stunned Kamuzu Barracks (KB) 9-10 in post-match penalties.
Twice they came from behind to force a draw in regulation time and won in the resultant penalties.
This afternoon’s encounter is Dedza’s first-ever Standard Bank Knockout quarter-final.
They go into the match hoping to replicate Azam Tigers’ record of being the first voted side to go beyond the quarter-final, and reach the finals.
Dedza coach Milias Jegwe Pofera is aware of Civo’s resurrection, but has warned Civo not to underrate the rookies.
However, after today’s fixture the attention will turn to the other voted side Mighty Be Forward Wanderers who face Red Lions at Kamuzu Stadium tomorrow.
Coming from back-to-back losses in the TNM Super League to Civo and KB, the Nomads cannot afford another slip up.
Currently, pressure is mounting on coach Elia Kananji who was summoned by the executive and supporters this week.
The coach said they had put behind all their troubles in the Super League and were concentrating on the cup game.
“We need to focus on the job at hand,” Kananji said. “What’s in the past is in the past.”
A win in tomorrow’s encounter will keep the Nomads’ dream of a treble alive.