Bangwe All Stars will be hoping to make history by making it to their first ever cup final as they host Silver Strikers at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre on Saturday in Castel Cup semi-finals.
Bangwe have never made it this far in a cup competitions. They closest was in FDH Bank Cup quarter-finals where they were knocked out by Mafco.
But the club’s assistant coach Joseph Kamwendo feels now is the time for the Bangwe Township-based outfit to go all the way.
“Very tough game, but we are more than ready. You must remember that all the games we have played in the cup so far were tough and for us to be in the semi-finals it’s because we fought hard to here,” Kamwendo explains.
Though going into the game as underdogs the former Flames skipper said in cup games, this does not apply.
“This is the semi-finals brother and a lot to play for, so I believe the team that needs it most will carry the day.
“We going into the game as underdogs and that is giving us advantage to go and play our game without fear or pressure.
“We believe we have what it takes and we are going to fight for a spot in the final. We are in the last four, so why not the final?”
However, Bangwe face Silver Strikers who are also hungry for silverware having missed the FDH Bank Cup and TNM Super League which FCB Nyasa Bullets won.
Coach Pietre de Jongh knows the Bankers need to win at least a silverware this season, but the Dutch man is also aware that Bangwe can cause an upset if they are underrated.
“We just have to go and make sure we win it and reach the final. There is no other option,” he said.
The Bankers have scored 16 goals, conceding just three while Bangwe have scored 17 goals and have only conceded once.
To make it to the semis, Silver booted out St Gabriel Zitha FC (5-0) in the round of 32 before knocking out Ekwendeni United (7-1) in the round of 16.
A win in a six-goal quarter-final thriller saw the Bankers book a place in the semis after a 4-2 victory over Blue Eagles.
Bangwe on the other hand thrashed Nsuwadzi FC 7-0 in the round of 64 and Bocca Juniors FC 9-1 in the round of 32.
They then avenged their FDH Bank quarter-final loss to Mafco, beating the Salima-based Malawi Defence Force outfit 1-0 to wing into the round of 16.
Bangwe then punched a ticket to the semi-final slot after beating Chitipa United 3-4 on post-match penalties following a goalless deadlock in regulation time.
The match will be a third meeting between the two sides. Each won their home match in the 2023 TNM Super League.