Karonga United FC on Saturday became the first team to qualify for the Airtel Top 8 semi-finals after edging out Kasungu-based TN Stars on away goal rule.
The two teams played out a goalless draw at Karonga Stadium in the quarter-final second leg while the first leg ended one-all in Kasungu.
On Saturday, the first half lacked clear goal-scoring opportunities, but it was the home side which dominated possession.
Karonga have qualified on away goal rule
TN Stars had one clear chance in the first half when Lawrence Banda’s shot went narrowly wide past Karonga’s youthful goalkeeper Anthony Singini.
The second half was more or less the same as the first with both teams taking a cautious approach.
Desperate for an away goal, TN Stars brought in strikers Tonex Viyuyu and Trouble Banda.
In a frantic last 15 minutes, Stain Dave and Banda went close for TN stars while Anthony Mfune also missed a sitter for the hosts.
In a post-match interview, TN Stars assistant coach Monkey Chirwa accepted defeat, saying his team appeared out of sorts.
“We did not play well today, our boys were not aggressive upfront. All in all, congratulations to Karonga United for making it to the semi-finals,” he said.
On the other hand, Karonga coach Dan Dzinkhambani applauded his charges for defending well.
“Our focus was to qualify for the semis. It is good that our players defended well and we have made it,” he said.