Red Arrows in the Barclays semi finals

Red Arrows progressed to the semi-finals of the 2013 Barclays Cup after they brushed aside Division One North side National Assembly with a comfortable 3 – 1 win in the first quarterfinal match played at Nkoloma Stadium on Saturday.

Shadreck Malambo opened the scoring in the 26th minute and Lubinda Mundia added a second three minutes before the break. Substitute Evans Mwanga gave Assembly a life line when he scored from a follow up after Munyao failed to handle Timothy Mbewe’s effort in the 83rd minute. Richard Mbewe put the game beyond Assembly when he nodded home from close range at additional time.

Arrows were always going to be favourites but they found it difficult to breakdown their less fancied opponents in the opening exchanges. The first real chance on goal for the home side fell to Lubinda Mundia in the 18th minute but he could not direct his header on target after he was found in the box by Stanley Nshimbi.

Eight minutes later Malambo got at the end of Evans Musonda’s header to give Arrows the lead with a vicious shot at the top of the box.

The Parliamentarians also had chances of their own but they were wasted by Joe Lungu, Mulale Mubanga and Simon Nkhoma before Lubinda added a second for Arrows in the 42nd minute.

The second half started as a more balanced affair but it was Arrows who showed more purpose with Evans Musonda hitting the woodwork from range in the 56th minute.

Asembly threatened with Jacob Milanzi in the 68th minute when he weaved his way through the Arrows defence but his effort on goal was weak and Munyao saved comfortably.

Assembly’s goal came against the run of play when Timothy Mbewe went through on goal and sent in a shot which Munyao parried into the path of Mwanga who tapped home from close range.

But Assembly failed to complete their comeback as Richard Phiri put the game beyond them in additional time when he scored at the death from a free header.

Red Arrows coach George Lwandamina praised his charges for their composure on the ball.

“The game was ok. It was a tough game but I am happy that the boys were composed, that is the good side of every team. I know the heat affected the boys but their composure worked in our favour,” Lwandamina said.

And National Assembly coach George Kapembwa said he would go back to the drawing board and concentrate on winning promotion to the Super Division.

“We will go back to the drawing board and concentrate on the league. But personally I felt intimidated by the officials because they kept talking to me each time I tried to give instructions. And I think they protected players from the Super Division too much,” he said. / Courtesy of FAZ