NEWS | SPORTS | AIRTEL TOP 8 UPDATES
By Lusekero Mhango
A nil nil draw between Karonga United and TN Stars was enough to see the northern region side earn a semi final set of matches in the ongoing Airtel Top Eight tourney, the first top notch berth for the team.
The result on Saturday meant Karonga United went through via a 1-0 aggregate having beaten the Kasungu-based side about a week ago.
The match played in front of a partisan home crowd saw the crocodiles of Karonga do enough in the 90 minutes to make it through to the semis.
In a first half which lacked clear goal scoring opportunities saw the home side dominating the possession with Gule Mwaisope and Anthony Mfune failing to utilize some goal scoring opportunities.
Lawrence Banda had the Kasungu-based side’s only chance in the first half with his left footed shot going narrowly wide past Karonga’s young goal custodian Anthony Singini.
In the second half the game began in the same note with both sides weary to attack each other with a semi final berth up for grabs.
Mindful of needing an away goal to come back in the tie TN brought on strikers, Tonex Viyuyu and Trouble Banda in the hunt for a goal.
In a frantic last 15 minutes, Stain Dave and Trouble Banda went close for TN stars while Anthony Mfune also missed a sitter as space opened up for Karonga United after the away side left space in the back as they pushed men upfield.
Speaking in a post-match interview Karonga United’s team manager, Kondwani Mwalweni, hailed his side’s achievement for reaching the semis.
“We played a good game and we should have won the match on the day if we took our chances but in the end the chances we missed didn’t matter as we got through to our first major semifinal,” he said.
TN stars assistant coach Monki Chilwa, conceded that they left themselves with too much to do in the second leg after performing badly at home in the first leg.
“Ultimately we have paid the price for our below par performance at home, we played alright today but we failed to score so we have to congratulate Karonga for booking a semifinal place,” said a frustrated Chilwa.