Carlsberg Cup round of 16 games commence on Friday with more surprises expected when big guns face minnows..
At Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre, Ndirande Icons host Kamuzu Barracks at.
On Saturday, Blue Eagles will take on Mafco FC at Nankhaka Stadium in Lilongwe whereas Silver Strikers will take on Mzimba-based OP FC.
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) competitions Manager Gomezgani Zakazaka said the remaining five games will be played next week when all the quarterfinalists will be known.
Next week Chilumba Barracks will take on Mighty Be Forward Wanderers, Red Lions will engage Moyale Barracks while Big Bullets will sort it out against it out Silver Reserves.
Support Battalion will be up against Civo United while Azam Tigers will face Dedza Young Soccer Stars.
“Everything is ready for the round of 16 encounters. Rules remain unchanged; a side that loses automatically gets out of the competition. Aside from that, there will be no extra-time. Once regulation time ends with a draw, the game will go straight into penalties,” Zakazaka said.
This year’s edition of the Carlsberg Cup has brought a lot of surprises as at least five lower league sides, namely, Ndirande Icons, OP FC, Chilumba Barracks, Silver Reserves and Support Battalion, made it into this crucial stage at the expense of four TNM Super League outfits.
More surprises are even expected in this last 16 stage taking into account last year’s shocker that saw lower league side Zomba United marching all the way to the finals where they lost 0-2 to eventual champions Big Bullets.
Since the competition was established in 2000, Bullets have won the crown twice while Wanderers were the inaugural champions. Kamuzu Barracks, Blue Eagles and Moyale Barracks were as well once the titleholders.
Mchengautuwa top Chipiku NRFA League
Mchengautuwa have taken the Northern Region Football Association (NRFA) premier Division league by storm in their debut season as they are now topping the log table.
Mchengautuwa have 19 points from 10 games, a point ahead of second-placed Chilumba Barracks who however, have a game in hand.
Chilumba finished as runners-up to Mzuni last season.
Mchengautuwa top the table despite the league’s decision to dock them two points for causing an abandonment of their game against Chilumba. They were also fined K25 000.
The team’s coach Madalitso Mhone said their aim is to win the championship and earn promotion into the Super League.
“We shall fight for every inch of the way. Our goal is to play in the Super League,” said Mhone.
Karonga United, who were relegated from the Super League last season, are on third position with 16 points from seven games.
Kawalazi anchor the 18-team league with a point from five games.
Dwangwa maintain grip at the
top of Chipiku CRFA League
Dwangwa United are still top of the Chipiku Central region Football Association (CRFA) Premier League after bagging full points last weekend.
Dwangwa beat Nambuma and Ndaula United 3-1 and 2-1 on Saturday and Sunday respectively.
On Saturday, Kondwani Bag, Lightwell Nkhoma and Tuija Saka were on target for Dwangwa while on Sunday Bag and Saka were on the scoresheet again.
Dwangwa now have 28 points, two ahead of second-placed Msundwe United while Dowa United are third with 24 points.
This weekend Dwangwa have two potentially tough assignments against Master Security and Support Battalion respectively.
Dwangwa’s team manager Dave Mwandira said they are determined to keep up the momentum in their quest to return to the Super League.
“We know it’s not going to be easy, but we will try our best. There is still a long way to go, but we will keep on working hard,” said Mwandira.
Mathews Mwandira of Kasungu Medicals is the leading scorer with 14 goals followed by Francis Mkonda of Saint Kaduya who has 12.