Mzuni FC completed the first semifinal set of the 2019 Wakaa! Airtel Top Eight Cup to meet Karonga United through an away goal advantage following their one-all draw against Civil Sporting Club in the quarterfinal return match at Civo Stadium in Lilongwe on Sunday.
The two sides played to a goalless draw at Mzuzu Stadium in the first leg last weekend, but the Green Intellectuals managed to score an away goal courtesy of Maxwell Gasten who levelled in the 84th minute, just a minute after the hosts netted first through Lanken Mwale.
Karonga were the first side to qualify to the semifinals after seeing off TN Stars through an away goal advantage as well following a one-all draw at Kasungu Stadium and a goalless draw at home, Karonga Stadium.
Civil used the home ground advantage to outclass the visitors in the first half and part of the second half no wonder they yielded the rewards through the important goal they got, but the Gilbert Chirwa-led side had other plans as they retaliated to level a minute later.
That was the end of the journey for Franco Ndawa and his technical team in the cup.
In post-match interviews, Ndawa conceded defeat saying the defenders relaxed thinking they had killed it all.
“It’s unfortunate indeed that we are out of the cup, but we will try to fight tooth and nail in the league. The moment we scored a goal we relaxed a bit at the back, so our friends took advantage of it. We will just go back to our drawing board and see how we will proceed in the league,” Ndawa said.
On the other hand, Mzuni coach Chirwa also conceded to have had a tough game against Civil.
“As you are aware, our friends have a strong squad such that we started struggling back at our home in Mzuzu. I am just happy that we managed to score in the second half and proceed through the away-goal rule. I also have to thank my boys for a good fight as they also followed our instructions. They have done a good job and we still have a task to encourage them to put up the same spirit in the semifinals,” Chirwa said.
Chirwa further disclosed that he never expected his team to perform as they did because he has recruited new players to replace those that have been fired on disciplinary grounds.
The other quarterfinal return matches are slated for Tuesday at Silver Stadium in Lilongwe involving Silver Strikers and Be Forward Wanderers while Masters Security will host Kamuzu Barracks at Dedza Stadium same day.
The Bankers march into the second-leg with a 1-0 advantage after beating the Nomads at Kamuzu Stadium through Khuda Muyaba.
Masters on the other hand are a goal behind KB after losing 1-2 to the soldiers at Civo Stadium in the first leg.
K15 million awaits champions of the cup which is dubbed Wakaa!