The semifinals draw of the Ibongetse Castel Challenge Cup that was conducted on Sunday at Kamuzu Stadium during the Wanderers and Moyale Barracks game, has provided a possibility of Blantyre derby involving FCB Nyasa Big Bullets and Mighty Mukuru Wanderers.
The Nomads who defeated Moyale 3-0 in the quarter-finals will face the winner of the Round of 8 fixture between Bullets FC and Ekwendeni Hammers which will be played on Wednesday.
Meanwhile Lilongwe giants Silver Strikers will face Blantyre outfit Bangwe All Stars to complete the semifinal matches.
Castel Malawi Limited, sponsors of the Ibongetse Challenge Cup expressed optimism of entertaining football in the semifinals.
“As sponsors we are very happy to conduct the semifinals draw of the cup. The teams that are facing each other has shown great spirit of resilience and determination, therefore, we expect to see sustenance of good football,” said Lavern Chitakata, Head of Brand and Marketing at Castel Malawi.
Acknowledging the progress of Castel Challenge Cup, Chitakata commended the collaboration of various stakeholders that has contributed towards football development in the country.
“We are glad to reach the semifinals of the Cup which means that we have accomplished our objective of developing football. I would like to commend FAM, supporters and Regional Associations for being organised and ensure that over one thousand games have been played, together we are taking the game to great heights,” she said.
She added that so far, Castel cup has managed to develop football using the bottom-up approach.
“We are delighted with the level of talent and football that have been unearthed in the districts. The competition was stiff among teams and we believe that some players will upgrade to big football platforms,” added Chitakata.
Commenting on the possibility of the Blantyre derby after the game with Moyale, Wanderers coach Mark Harrison said that the team is ready to meet any opponent that comes on the way.
“We are quite comfortable with the outcomes of the draw that’s what football is all about. Whether we meet Bullets or Ekwendeni our expectation is that it will be good game with amazing football,” said Harrison.
The coach hailed his players for controlling the game and winning comfortably to reach the samifinal stage.
“Our focus is to reach the final and win the cup that’s the reason we showed great spirit on the pitch. I’m happy that what we told players have been done during the game to help us win,” he added.
The 2023 season of Castel Challenge Cup was launched in June at Bingu National Stadium with an inaugural match between Silver Strikers and FCB Nyasa Bullets which the bankers won 3-2.
The final game is expected to take place on 31st December 2023 at the same venue.