By Edwin Mbewe
LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-Few hours after President Lazarus Chakwera, announced the appointment of the new Police Chief Merlyn Nachulu Yolamu, Blue Eagles FC welcomed their new matron with a 0-2 victory over Rumphi United FC in FDH Bank cup Pachema on Friday, July 22, 2022.
The cops dearly needed a win against struggling Leopards of Chikulamayembe to progress into the round 16 of Pachema MK90 million FDH Bank cup.
Eagles FC who were experiencing dry spell in the last games of the TNM Superleague first round started on a high note no wonder they scored in the 5th minute through long serving striker, Maxwell Salambula, from a rebound after Rumphi United goalie parried Gilbert Chirwa’s powerful shot within his territory.
The men in unform continued shining through captain Schumacher Kuwali, Micium Mhone, Gaddie Chirwa, McDonald Lameck among others, at 30th minute Gaddie Chirwa extended the lead after beautiful pass from McDonald Lameck.
Despite trailing in this half Rumphi United posed threat as they dangerously attacked the visitors,winning more corner kicks but their attackers lacked marksmanship and composure.
First half ended with the visitors leading home team 0-2.No changes were made from either sides.
At the beginning of the second half,the home team made triple changes as Elias Chirambo sensed danger,Zikani Munthali,Waliko Chaula,Mwiza Mgala were replaced by Trouble Kajani,Wellington Mkandawire and Takondwa Mphaza,the three changed tempo of the game as they put Blue Eagles FC under pressure.
John Soko and his defense of Sankhani Mkandawire, Maxwell Gustavo,McDonald Lameck and Jacob Robert contained the presurre as they guarded well their territory to avoid spoiling the party which started in the first half.
Gaddie Chirwa scored for the Policemen at 52nd minute but referee ruled it out for an offside,Jacob Robert,Schumacher Kuwali and Gilbert Chirwa were booked with yellow cards for different offences. Kananji, Eagles coach, made several changes to protect their lead,Schumacher Kuwali,Micium Mhone, Gaddie Chirwa, Jacob Robert were replaced by Arthur Moffat, Stuart Mbunge, Laurent Banda,Chifuniro Mpinganjira and Franco Ndawa Jnr.
Chirambo further introduced Philimoni Ndhlovu for Kaliyala at 75th minute, Rumphi United FC kept dominating the play in this half but the cops had already caused the damage in the first half.
Gilbert Chirwa missed a seater at 90th minute with a goalkeeper to beat after a beautiful play from former Ntopwa United midfielder Arthur Moffat.
Few minutes after this missed chance,referee Rose Zimba blew the whistle to end the match and it was confirmed Blue Eagles FC have completed the list of 16 teams to battle it for the honours for the quarterfinals.
The winning team Manager, Frank Vic Kalodzeni, hailed his boys for the vital victory as they progressed into the round of 16 in FDH Bank cup. He further said reflecting previous results in the TNM Superleague, today’s game was a must win to retain the confidence in players.
Kalodzeni vowed to collect another maximum points in Karonga district on Sunday against Karonga United in TNM Superleague second round.
Coach for Rumphi United, Elias Chirambo, acknowledged the defeat attributing it to the poor preparations resulting in poor coordination amongst his players as one contributing factor but said it was understandable as many have been just recruited,and the changes from the executives had an impact too.
Chirambo vowed that the team will survive the chop from TNM Superleague despite anchoring the table with 9 points from 15 games.
Nyasa Big Bullets FC, Moyale Barracks FC, Extreme FC, Kadona FC,Kamuzu Barracks FC, Civil Service United FC, Mighty Mukuru Wanderers FC, Dedza Dynamos FC, Chitipa United, Karonga United FC and MAFCO FC already qualified last week while the defending champions Silver Strikers FC lost to Dedza Dynamos 5-4 on post match penalties.
Blue Eagles FC will face another Northern region side Ekwendeni Hammers FC in the round of 16 on a venue yet to be communicated by FAM competitions committee.