City derbies in Airtel Top 8 Cup semis

Airtel Top 8 Cup

What started as a competition for Eight top league teams has now been reduced to four that will produce one representative for the two cities Lilongwe and Blantyre in the finals of the Airtel Top Eight Cup.

While Nyasa Big Bullets knew their opponent in semifinals Mighty Wanderers last week during the first semifinal draw at Chitowe Stadium in Blantyre, the last fixture will also seen Lilongwe giants, Civo and Silver Strikers to clash in the second semifinal.

According to the draw, the winner between Civo and Karonga United, was to meet the one that emerged victorious between TN Stars and Silver Strikers.

So what happened? It turned out that Civo got a one-all draw against Karonga United in the second leg match of the quarterfinals at Karonga Stadium, but proceeded to the semifinals through a 3-1 aggregate followinging their 2-0 win in the first leg match.

Binwel Katinji scored the opener for the servants before Clement Nyondo equalised. 

The next day on Sunday, Silver Strikers also demolished TN Stars to finish off what they already started.

With an upper hand already from their 1-0 win at the same venue, the Bankers piled more misery on Stars and eventually booted them out of the competition by four goals to one, which translates into a 5-1 aggregate goal.

Blessings Tembo completed his brace, while Stain Dave and Frank Banda shared one goal each for Silver, before Fabio Kapinde reduced the spoils through his consolation for the Kasungu boys.

Both Civo and Silver Strikers coaches said they are ready for each other.

"We are ready to face Silver in the semifinals. This is the cup and we are Civo United. They know how we defeated them in the league," said Civo coach, Franco Ndawa on Saturday.

Civo
Civo celebrates after beating Karonga United- photos courtesy of Silver & Civo Facebook pages 

Silver assistant coach, McDonald Yobe was also optimistic that his side would recover from the league loss and proceed to the finals.

"To us we are happy we have won the match against TN Stars and are now in the semifinals. Our plan was to score more goals using every opportunity we get, and we are happy we managed that. Civo dominated against us in the league this season, but we are ready to meet them again this time," he said.

What is obvious at this stage is that one team from Lilongwe or Blantyre will be the giant (dolo) of this year's Cup by winning the K17 million prize money. 

Both Blantyre teams and Civo have never won the Cup in the previous editions.

Silver Strikers won the inaugural and last editions, while Blue Eagles got it in the second year.

Lilongwe or Blantyre? That will be seen after crossing the first derby bridges.