Blue Eagles put home ground advantage to good use yesterday by defeating Mafco 1-0 in the Airtel Top 8 quarterfinal at Nankhaka Stadium in Lilongwe, taking a slender semi-final qualification chance into the second leg.
John Malidadi Junior scored in the first half in a match Eagles squandered some good chances that could have blown Mafco’s chances of recovery in a reverse tie scheduled for Chitowe Ground in Dwangwa in two weeks.
The police side has joined Nyasa Big Bullets, Be Forward Wanderers and Silver Strikers in having one leg into the last-four stage, having won in their first leg matches. All have recorded 1-0 victories.
Eagles misused their best chances of the half when Gilbert Chirwa headed over the bar from a sumptuous cross before Maxwell Salambula chipped over in injury time. It was a miss that attracted jeers of disappointment from the home side bench.
Eagles coach De Klerk Msakakuona said Mafco were tough but gave credit to his charges for claiming the victory.
“They gave us a tough game but we were discplined enough to see the game through. We just hope that we will finish the job in Dwangwa,” he said.
His Mafco counterpart Mike Kumanga said he was disappointed they did not get an away goal.
“Our plan was to score but this did not happen and we are disappointed. Nonetheless, losing 1-0 away isn’t worse. We believe we can overturn this at home if we prepare thoroughly,” he said. n