Silver Strikers booked a semifinal place in the Airtel Top 8 after defeating Be Forward Wanderers 1-0 at Silver Stadium this afternoon.
That result in a pulsating encouter means the Bankers snatched a 2-0 aggregate victory.
They will face Masters Security who beat Kamuzu Barracks 1-0 at Dedza Stadium.
The resul in Dedza means the two Lilongwe sides were tied 2-all on aggregate score-line but Masters progressed via an away goal advantage.
At Silver Stadium, Wanderers was in control in the first half as they hunted for an early goal to level the aggregate score.
Babatunde was their main architect as he, on a number of occasions, outsmarted the Bankers defence with deft dribbles.
But again the marksman was somewhat the reason Wanderers did not take a lead as he missed their most glorious chance in early exchanges.
On a larger scale, the Nomads’ lacked creativity to turn their dominance into goals. Isaac Kaliati and Francisco Madinga were completely shut out by a resilient Silver midfield.
As the match wore on, Silver took control. They forced Wanderers into much defending than attacking. Man of the match Duncan Nyoni, was at the heart of it all, terrorising Wanderers defence at will so did Thuso Paipi.
Their pressure paid off in the 40th minute when they took the lead. Paipi and Michael Teteh exposed Francis Mlimbika with some exchanges before the latter sunk the ball into the box. The Nomads’ defence blocked Levison Maganizo’s attempt but Nyoni was all alert to bundle it home.
It was 1-0 to Silver; a deserved lead, the full stadium erupted into wild celebration.
In the second half, it was the Bankers, surprisingly, which played with much purpose creating a few clear cut chances but Wanderers goalkeeper Richard Chipuwa was handy to keep his team in the match.
As time ticked on and hopes faded, Wanderers added power. Misheck Botomani replaced frozen Zicco Mkanda, Injured captain Alfred Manyozo paved way for Raphael Uder while Peter Katsonga took Madinga’s place.
Despite all that, Wanderers, the 2017 finalists, were not good enough to get the much needed two goals.
Reacting to the exit, Nomads’ captain Manyozo described the loss as self-inflicted.
“We had a few chances to level the scores but we did not utilise them. It’s heartbreaking to exit the tournament as early as this,” he said.
Silver team manager Itaye Nundwe praised his side for the fighting spirit. He expressed hope that his side could “go all the way to win the trophy.”