By Edwin Mbewe
LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-The area 30 outfit Blue Eagles FC have become the 6th team to book the quarterfinal place in the prestigious MK90 million FDH Bank Cup after defeating Ekwendeni Hammers FC 1-2 at Mzuzu Stadium.
Fate of the two teams was decided in dying minutes when midfielder Paul Master scored what can be described as a painful goal to Ekwendeni Hammers and vital to Blue Eagles FC at 90th plus 3 minutes after receiving a decent pass from substitute Chifuniro Mpinganjira.
First goal of the game came at 72nd minute through prolific midfielder Gilbert Chirwa who slotted in Captain Schumacher Kuwali’s corner from the right.
The host looked dangerous when attacking and posed a threat to Policemen, no wonder they levelled the matters at 77th through Isaiah Nyirenda with a magical and stunning goal which came after Eagles defenders of Jacob Robert, McDonald Lameck, Sankhani Mkandawire and Maxwell Gustavo failed to communicate with their goal minder John Soko.
It was the game in which both teams failed to display their normal game as few spectators which turned up at Mzuzu Stadium witnessed aerial balls especially in the first half.
First half ended deadlock, and no team had made some changes.Referee Evidence Kananji blew the whistle signalling for the second half to start.
The host as in the beginning of the first half also started on a high note and it was fast and very fast game for both sides.
Ekwendeni Hammers coach was the first to make changes as he aimed to progress into the quarterfinals and bearing in mind that they were last season’s runners up.
Brian Phiri replaced injured Blessings Singini, Mabuchi Msiska went in for veteran Ndaziona Chatsalira, Gift Chunga was introduced for Isaac Msiska and Patrick Gama also replaced Wongani Lungu.
While Christopher Sibale introduced Chifuniro Mpinganjira, Franco Ndawa Jnr, for Maxwell Salambula and Maxwell Gustavo.The changes ignited fire and increased the hype of the game.
Evidence Kananji flushed two yellow cards to Allan Kaunda for a foul on Paul Master,Ganizani Muomba for another bad play on Eagles.
Time was slowly ticking out for both teams as they searched for the winning goals,but it was no where to be found as they ended up misfiring, being blocked by defences.
Both parties thought the fate will be decided through penalty shootouts as at 90th minute, they were tied at 1 goal all hence Sibale introduced goalkeeper Chakonda Majanga for John Soko in anticipation of the shoot outs.
However, Majanga’s mission to lead the Policemen in penalties did not come to pass as Paul Master did the needful from Chifuniro Mpinganjira’s pass.
The cops finally danced ATOT MANJE’S song, “Udzangomva hiyya ho,ndamenya chimbama munthu kuno,,Hi hi hi akulira” as they sailed through to the quarterfinals with Paul Master being voted man of the match.
Blue Eagles FC last won the cup in 2018,when they defeated Nyasa Big Bullets FC 1-0 in Airtel top 8.
Christopher Sibale Assistant coach for Blue Eagles FC was delighted with the victory while acknowledging it was tough game and hailed his boys.
He further blamed the pitch at Mzuzu Stadium for the poor display but he was upbeat of reaching finals and win it.
While his counterpart Eltson Kadenge Mwafulirwa said it was a good game as they started well in the first half.
He added his boys lacked concentration in the dying minutes hence the defeat.
Blue Eagles has become the 6th team to qualify to the quarterfinals of this year’s 2022 FDH Bank Cup Pachema and they join,Extreme FC,Chitipa United,Nyasa Big Bullets Reserve, Kamuzu Barracks FC and Changalume Barracks FC.
So far two quarterfinal places are up for grab on Sunday for the list to complete, Nyasa Big Bullets FC will play Moyale Barracks FC at Kamuzu Stadium while the resilient Dedza Dynamos FC host Mighty Mukuru Wanderers FC at Dedza Stadium.