Mulanje-based Fomo Football Club has reached the national stage of the Ibongetse Castel Challenge Cup after beating Mwanza Stars 5-4 in post-match penalties at Mwanza Community Stadium.
The host team failed to utilise the home ground advantage as the visitors dominated the game that ended 0-0 on regulation time.
Fomo FC becomes one of the six teams to qualify for national stage from the Southern Region Football Association (SRFA).
The sponsor of the cup, Castel Malawi Limited has expressed satisfaction with the progress of the Malawi’s big tournament.
“We are very happy with the progress of the league, so far we have seen great talents at district level. The strides align our objective of develop football using the bottom-up approach,” said Lavern Chitakata, Castel Malawi’s Marketing Operations Manager.
According to Castel, the multi-beneficial challenge cup is helping the youth to get involved in a number of social activities.
“In all the districts that we have so far visited we noted that the youth are deprived of entertainment. Therefore, as a fun brand we are implementing different social activities to create buzz and involve the youth around the Ibongetse Challenge Cup,” she said.
Chitakata hailed teams and their fans for ensuring violent free matches at the district level expressing optimism of a continued trend in the national stage.
General Secretary for Southern Region Football Association (SRFA) Daires Kachale believes that teams in the association will continue registering good results of their fixtures.
“As SRFA, we are following the Castel Challenge Cup with keen interest. So far, the officiation has been excellent, we haven’t received complains a clear indication that the league is progressing so well,” said Kachale.
Kachale has encouraged the lower Division teams to keep their determination and resilient to reach into the finals.
“We are satisfied with the progress of the cup as teams from lower leagues continue to do well. Our mission is to see SRFA teams reaching finals and win the Ibongetse Challenge Cup,” he said.
Mapopa Msukwa, coach for Fomo FC attributed the win to good preparations and teamwork.
“Today’s game was very tough knowing that we were facing a good team at its home ground. We had intensive preparations and thanks to the team for giving a great performance,” said Msukwa.
He said that Fomo FC is excited to progress into the next stage and expects the games to be tough.
“We will be meeting Super League teams but we are ready. We will plan for these teams because we have been watching them in their leagues,” he said.
While recognising the efforts by his team, Mwanza Stars spokesperson Madalitso Buneya said the loss is very painful.
“This has been another heavy defeat for us as we have been knocked out at this stage. Going forward we are going to rectify the mistakes observed during the game and move forward,” said Buneya.