FAZ Eastern Provincial Cup: Panza stroll into the final …As Katete Rangers are disqualified
As brilliant as football is, there is little or no doubt that there is added spice seeing clubs come together to take part in league and cup tournament.
“The cup tournament is a very important way to measure the good players and the great one. Is it a test of a great player and seeing your side lose doesn’t have to be a disaster, it could be the start of something beautiful,” Brazilian legend, Pele?
The Eastern Province FAZ provincial cup reached the semi-final stage with one game played last Saturday and one set to be played on a date yet to be announced by FAZ.
Panza traveled to Mambwe district, the tourist town of Eastern province, the home of the South Luangwa national park to battle it out with Malambo United at Mambwe council grounds.
Malambo United, a division two outfit took home ground advantage and punished the army sponsored side who ply their trade in Eastern province FAZ provincial division one hitting the back of the net first in the 14th minute with a goal from their striker Jeff Ondya who unleashed a powerful shot from outside the eighteen yards to the left top corner much to the delight of home fans. It didn’t take long for Panza to equalize as they leveled matters in the dying minutes of the first half through a header.
In the second half, both teams created many goalscoring opportunities but they both failed to find another goal with the match ending 1-1 in regulation time. The match was decided on penalties with Malambo FC missing two of their first four and Panza scoring all their four spot kicks to win 4-2 and book a spot in the final.
The ZamFoot Crew was at the match venue and caught up with Bwalya Kangwa, Malambo United coach to get his thoughts on the match
“I must congratulate Panza for the hard-fought victory and to us its tough luck, we will start planning for a more tactical game in the next match yet to be advised on when and who the opponent will be. The buffaloes of malambo are not taking the next game lightly as they want to prove that they are aiming to reach greater heights,” he said.
Malambo United is set to play 3rd and 4th playoffs while Panza will be playing in the final. This is the second time in the tournament that Panza has won on post-match penalties as they also edged out Imena golden stars 5-4 in the quarter-finals.
Katete Rangers were disqualified from the tournament despite winning the quarter-final match against Katete United for using an eligible play on-loan from Luena Buffaloes of kaoma town of Western province, the ZamFoot Crew can reveal.
According to a ruling accessed by the ZamFoot Crew which was passed by FAZ adhoc disciplinary committee chaired by Mr, Daka Jabes found Katete Rangers on the wrong side and disqualified them from the tournament with Katete United taking their semi-final place.
The date for the semi-final match between Petauke United and Katete United scheduled for Sinda council grounds is yet to be communicated by FAZ. It is a match that promises to go to the wire. The last two meetings,Petauke won one-nil in the league before a recent two all draw last month in a friendly match.
The Zamfoot crew caught up with both coaches to discuss the upcoming semi-final fixture
Katete United gaffer Ezekiele Siamalambo expressed confidence in securing a final spot. He says he has worked on previous loopholes which he saw in the quarter-final game against Katete Rangers.
Siamalambo added that he has got numbers for the semi final game unlike in the quarter-final game where he played with eleven players without substitutes as those who were injured and those who went to school have returned.
“I have met Petauke United before so I know their gameplay in terms of their playstyle, all am doing is to train hard my midfielders and strikers because Petauke United play almost the same game as that of Katete Rangers and this time around am happy because I have numbers,” Siamalambo told the ZamFoot Crew in an exclusive interview.
His opposite number, The soft-spoken Mr. Phiri of Petauke United also expressed confidence in his charges with victory being the only thing he expects from them. He has pointed out the works of God to be the only thing making his team continue doing well.
“My God has never disappointed me, my hopes are very high and my players are putting in their best during training sessions so am hopeful they will replicate the same form during the match.”
Semi-final results and fixtures
Malambo united Fc 1-1 Panza Fc ( Panza won on penalties 4-2), 14th November.
Petauke United vs Katete united (date yet to be communicated by FAZ)
Venue; Sinda council grounds
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