Africa-Press – Malawi. Blue Eagles have become the first team to punch a ticket to the Castel Challenge Cup round of 32 after walloping Layman Rangers 4-0 at Civo Stadium in Lilongwe
Schumacher Kuwali and Trouble Banda netted a brace, each with no reply from the lower league outfit. All things being equal, Eagles were supposed to score more than four goals, especially in the second half.
However, they were timid in the final third until Kuwali opened the floodgates in the in the 34th minute after a fine pass from Ian Chinyama. Trouble Banda doubled the lead just before recess from another Chinyama assists. This time, it was a beautifully delivered set piece.
Kuwali then turned the provider as he set up Banda to complete a brace as well in the 51st minute. Banda then returned the favor, setting up Kuwali to complete a brace as well in the 61st minute.
In the post-match interview, Eagles coach Elia Kananji said he was satisfied with his charges‘ performance. “First half we struggled because we didn’t know how they play. But they knew us, and they knew how to counter oir play and frustrate us.
“But by the second half, we had discovered how they play. That is why we managed to score those three goals and won 4-0.” His counterpart Atanazius Jabulani said they gave away the game through silly mistakes.
He said: “I don’t know what happened at the back. We managed to contain them for a good part of the first half and ended up conceding that silly goal.
“But I am happy for my boys. They managed to contain Blue Eagles. I am sure when we go back to our league, we will do better.” The lower league side go back to their Chipiku League while Eagles wait to find out who they will face in the round of 32.
In the other Castel Challenge Cup fixture, White Eagles beat MDF Marine 2-0 in playoffs to book the last slot in the round of 64. After a quiet start, the match exploded in the 14th minute when Master Sasamala put White eagles ahead from Jali Tiyamike assist.
MDF Marine had a chance to level the scores when they were awarded a penalty following a bad tackle from White eagles defender. However, White Eagles’ goalkeeper Joseph Ngalande denied the Mangochi -based soldiers with a fine save as the first half ended 1-0.
White Eagles then doubled the lead in the 73rd minute through Lewo Kaila from a Sasamala assist. While Eagles coach Caren Chaula said their victory was not easy.
He said: “We play a passing game, but Marine plays long balls which frustrated us. “It was a tough game more especially in the first half. “But at half time, we told our boys to play our usual game, and we managed to beat them.”
White Eagles will now play Zathu Rangers from Neno in a round of 64. Chaula said they expected the going to get tough. “We just need to pull up our socks because the higher we go, the tougher it will become.”
Action in the cup resume next Monday with Mighty Mukuru Wanderers hosting another lower league side Katete Rangers at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre. Two more games will be played on Friday in the central and northern regions.
In Central Region, Chipiku League outfit Mitundu Strikers will host Chikuni FC of Lilongwe Rural at Nankhaka. In the Northern Region, Eleven Champions of Nkhata Bay will host Super League outfit Chitipa United at Rumphi Stadium.