Kamuzu Barracks (KB) have blamed their exit in the 2023 Airtel Top 8 quarter-finals on misinformation on the away goal rule.
KB assistant coach Ted Kalinda said they were told during a pre-match meeting of their match against Mafco that in case of a draw, the away goal rule will not apply.
The two sides drew one-all at Civo Stadium as Mafco became the first team to reach the competition’s semi-finals.
The Salima-based Malawi Defence Force (MDF) outfit have sailed through on away goals rule since the first leg ended goalless at Chitowe in Dwangwa, Nkhotakota.
Mafco took a lead just a minute into the match when Dan Chimbalanga’s shot was deflected by Hebert Wayekha to beat his goalkeeper Bonage Lweya.
But the hosts responded swiftly and levelled in the fourth minute through Olson Kanjira after being set up by Chimwemwe Chisambi.
Kalinda said: “We didn’t know that there is away goal rule. We were told before the game that there is no away goal rule.
“We were told that in case of a draw, the game will go into post-match penalties.
“It was during the last five minutes that we were told that the away goal rule will apply. We don’t know what happened.”
However, according to the competition’s rules and regulation Article 5.5, away goal rule applies.
The article 5.5 reads: “The competition shall be played from the round of eight [quarter-finals] on home and away basis, where away goal and aggregate scores rules shall apply.”
FAM competitions and communications director Gomezgani Zakazaka said all teams were given the rules and regulations booklet.
“It’s in black and white,” he said.
Mafco coach Pritchard Mwansa said their plan was to score early since away goals count in the competition in case of a draw.
“This is what we planned. We knew we were playing away and needed to score first and the boys did just that. It’s just unfortunate that KB equalised.
“You see, it was a very tough game. Our play was not that good. KB really came hard on us. But we blocked them.
“The most important thing is we have qualified for the semi-finals.”