Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Eastern Province FAZ Cup: The drama, the heartache, and the amazing action brings the province to a standstill in midweek

Eastern Province came to life on Wednesday the 11th of November with Eastern Province FAZ provincial cup games entering the quarter-final stage.

The game of the quarter-final stage was the ‘CHEWA’ derby were Katete Rangers and Katete United battled it for a semi-final place. The derby was played at a fast and heated pace with boiling tempers coupled with lots of tackles and fouls with one player given a direct red card. In the end it was Katete United who won the bragging rights for the town after beating local rivals 1-0.

Katete Rangers scored their goal in the 15th minute of the first half. After the goal things changed, Katete United threw everything forward with the hope of getting an equalizer. After seeing things not going their way, frustration clipped in the second half for the United side with one of its players given a direct red card for a bad foul.

The red card didn’t change the complexion of the game with Katete United continuing pushing for an equalizer despite being one man down and it paid off in the 85th minute when they were awarded a penalty which they however failed to convert with Katete Rangers clinging on to the lead till the final whistle.

After the match, Katete United complained about the use of a former Luena Buffaloes player by Katete Rangers who allegedly was ineligible for the match and they immediately wrote to FAZ complaining about the incident.

According to a letter dated 12th November accessed by the ZamFoot Crew, FAZ has acknowledged receipt and has since said they are reviewing the matter and in turn, they have postponed the semi-final match between Petauke United and Katete Rangers till the matter is disposed off. FAZ has set-up an Adhoc disciplinary committee comprising of Mr. Daka Jabes who will be the chairperson with Mr. Hara Zondwe being the secretary and Mr. Mukumbuta as a committee member

The Zamfoot crew was at the venue of the match and caught up with both coaches to get their thoughts on the match.

Katete Rangers coach Kelvin Nyendwa told the ZamFoot Crew that his team capitalized on Katete United’s ‘mistake’ of playing a high line.

“We just capitalized on their mistake of playing with Highline. From the word go, our opponent was rough and loose on the midfield so we resorted to hitting them on counter-attacks,” he said.

On the other hand Katete United gaffer Ezekiele Siamalambo felt his team was hard done by poor officiating.

“First and foremost I don’t understand the level of officiating in Zambia, my player was the one who was injured and we were awarded a free-kick for the incident but surprisingly the referee gave him a direct red card which to me didn’t add up but again you know when it is not your day everything goes sour. We were awarded a penalty in the dying minutes which we failed to convert, that’s football anyway. Will just forge ahead and do best for upcoming league games, we will go to the drawing board and see where we went wrong,” he said.

In Chipata, on Hillside grounds it was the battle of the men in uniform as Zambia wildlife men called Malambo United from South Luangwa national park in Mfuwe and the police officers who are young Nkwazi from Sinda district battled for a semifinal slot. The match lived up to expectations but despite a lot of goal scoring opportunities, the first half ended goallessly.

In the second half, both teams made a couple of changes. It was substituted that changed the tempo of the game with both teams resorting to a reserved type of football. Few minutes into the second half, Malambo United got their goal which they defended with their lungs out up to the last whistle.

After the game, The ZamFoot Crew caught up with the Malambo United team’s publicity secretary to get his thought. The publicity secretary highlighted hard work to be the only thing that helped his team to beat Young Nkwazi

“What helped us to win this game is the hard work we have been putting in the training and it paid off, we won the game. Now we are done with the policemen, next is Army team Panza and we hope to do our best in that game,” he said.

Free-scoring Petauke United dubbed the Kumawa powerhouse came to the fore against law enforcement officers who failed to maintain order and peace at Omelo Mumba grounds in the town of Katete.

It was the council officers who have been leaving with pain for failure to qualify for EDEN/FAZ national league after winning one game against Malalo police and losing three at the hands of Livingstone Pirates, Blessings, and City of Lusaka in the playoffs who poured their anger on Chadiza Police Fc. It was a match were Petauke United had smooth sailing from the start to the end with a well deserved two-nil win

After the game, Petauke United head coach Mr. Phiri expressed satisfaction with his team’s performance citing adherence to his playing instructions by his players as a key factor to victory

“I have nothing much to say, we thank God and players as they played according to instructions,” Coach Phiri told ZamFoot shortly after the game

The game between Panza Fc, the soldiers from Gondar barrack in Chipata, and Imena golden also took place in katete at St Francis grounds with the soldiers having to pay for their lackluster start in the first half as they went down one-nil. They didn’t retreat as they come back in the second half with guns blazing as they pulled one back to level matters. The match ended one all and went straight to penalties where the soldiers, Panza emerged triumphant 5-4.

Immediately after the quarter-finals were concluded, the draws for the semi-finals were made which are scheduled to be played tomorrow, Saturday, 14th November.

Panza FC will face Malambo United at Mambwe council grounds in Mambwe district the hometown of Malambo United. While the other semi-final game between Petauke United and Katete Rangers will be played at Sinda council grounds in Sinda town.

Full Quarter-Final Results| Wednesdays 11th November

Malambo United 1-0 Young Nkwazi

Petauke United 2-0 Chadiza Police Rangers

Panza FC 1-1 Imena golden stars(5-4 on penalties)

Katete United 0-1 Katete Rangers.

Semifinal matches,14th November

Panza FC Vs Malambo United
Venue: Mambwe council grounds

Katete Rangers Vs Petauke United (postponed)
Venue:Sinda council grounds


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