Silver Strikers have made life difficult for Be Forward Wanderers after a deserved 1-0 victory yesterday at their backyard Kamuzu Stadium in the Airtel Top 8 quarter-final first leg.
Indeed it was a bad day for the Lali Lubani outfit that literally had no shot on target.
The Bankers on the other hand, had a game plan which they smartly executed.
The back four of Yunusah Sherif, Trevor Kalema, Hadji Wail and Mike Robert sealed all spaces leaving Wanderers with no attacking options.
They made sure Mike Kaziputa and runs on the wings.Isaac Kaliyati did not make any
Simeon Singa in central midfield was too small for his boots against a no nonsense holding midfielder like Young Chimodzi Junior.
The Bankers completely controlled the midfield leaving the Nomads strikers Babatunde Adeboje and Zicco Mkanda starved of balls.
But at the end of the day what made the difference was sheer artistry of man of the match Thuso Paipi and Duncan Nyoni who terrorised the Nomads defence of Peter Cholopi, Harry Nyirenda and Stanley Sanudi.
This simplified the job for Bankers twin strikers Khuda Muyaba and Mike Teteh upfront.
In the 26th minute Paipi broke loose on the left-wing and picked up Teteh just on the age of the box.
With his defenders nowhere to be seen to stop the Bankers, Wanderers goalkeeper Richard Chipuwa had no choice but leave his line.
He managed to parry Teteh’s initial shot only for the ball to land in Muyaba’s path and the striker powerfully side footed the ball into the empty net.
The Nomads tried to reorganise themselves in the second-half.
Coach Bob Mpinganjira took out struggling Singa and brought in Francis Nkonda.
He also made double substitutions, taking out Kaziputa and Kaliyati for Francisco Madinga and Felix Zulu.
This only managed to keep Silver at bay but made no difference as the Nomads failed to unlock the Bankers defence.
Silver coach Lovemore Fazili thanked his charges for playing according to their game plan.
“That was our plan. We knew we were playing away and needed to be cautious. That’s why we started strongly and managed to get that goal. But I would say it was a game of two halves. We played well in the first half and Wanderers played well in the second half.
“The good thing is we created chances and scored. But Wanderers failed to score because they did not create good chances. The second leg will be a whole different game,” he said.
Wanderers vice team manager Allan Kamanga described the team’s performance as a letdown.
“We danced to their tune. We were always second on the ball. Anyway we have learned a bitter lesson. But we can bounce back in the second leg,” he said.