Khuda Muyaba’s goal scored before the stroke of halftime crowned Silver Strikers their second Airtel Top 8 Cup Championship, breaking the hearts of Karonga United players and fans in the process.
Played in front of a sizeable crowd on Saturday afternoon at Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe, the 2017 Airtel Top 8 Inaugural winners made their intentions known from the first whistle.
The bankers pressed hard in the centre half of the Karonga based soccer outfit, who defied all odds to reach their maiden cup final since joining elite football.
Before scoring that lone winning goal, Khuda Muyaba and Mike Teteh both missed a number of scoring opportunities, thanks to a well marshalled Karonga United defence as well as goalkeeping.
On the other hand, the Ingwina of Karonga as they are foundly called, could only rue a number of missed scoring opportunities with Misheck Seleman, Aziz Mwakifuna and Khumbo Msowoya among the culprits.
Despite launching a sustained siege on the Bankers half, Karonga United could hardly get the much needed equalizer until the blow of the final whistle.
Silver Strikers Assistant Coach congratulated his boys endurance prowess saying such character won them the cup.
“This was one of the toughest games we have played on our way to this victory but am glad that the boys showed the actual capabilities to break up such resistance and conquer in the end”, Fazili said.
He said what was important for them during the cup final was to score and win the game and this was exactly what have we have done this afternoon.
Karonga United Coach, Dan Dzinkambani said experience won the ‘Bankers’ otherwise his charges for playing well.
“Luck wasn’t on our side and you will agree with me that minus Silver’s experience, my boys equalled the winners, he said.
Airtel Malawi Managing Director Charles Kamoto said his company was impressed with the level of competition in this year’s edition.
“Who thought Karonga United could find their way into the final, beating giants along the way?
This scenario gives us as sponsors encouragement that the cup has increasee the level of competitiveness among teams and if that continues as a nation we must hope for a brighter future”
“Our theme this year was Waka! and i must admit that am concerned to note the goal droughts experienced during this period despite incentivising further the Golden Boot award”, lamented Kamoto.
Silver Strikers smiled all the way to the Reserve Bank with a staggering 15 million kwacha as prize money for grabbing the 2019 Airtel Top 8 Cup.
Khuda Muyaba pocketed half a million kwacha as Golden Boot winner after banging a meagre two goals throughout the tournament.
The Bankers were the 2017 Airtel Top 8 inaugural winner after beating Be Forward Wanderers 10-9 in a penalty shoot out to win the trophy.