Civil Service United (Civo) on Saturday, October 19, 2013 knocked Big Bullets out of the K25 million Standard Bank football competition after edging the ‘People’s team’ 1-0 in a quarterfinal match played at Civo Stadium in Lilongwe.
The visiting Bullets came with false hopes, pinning their hosts in their own territory but could not find an early goal.
The hosts eventually took over the proceedings after the quarter hour, exposing the Bullets in midfield and defence but still the first half ended goal-less.
After pep-talk from their new mentor Oscar Kaunda, who has just taken over from suspended coach Thom Nkorongo, Civo were the much better side in the second half, in which they had what looked like a clear goal by Jabulani Linje disallowed by Mzuzu based referee Aziz Nyirenda for off-side.
Undaunted by the disallowed goal, Civo continued piling the pressure and were up 14 minutes into the second half-courtesy of a brilliantly taken free kick by midfielder Patrick Gunde, which went straight into Bullets’ net.
After the goal, Bullets brought in veteran striker Heston Munthali for Dalitso Sailesi and later pushed in James Chilapondwa and Samson Chonde for Henry Kabichi and Ian Chinyama but the state of affairs never changed until Nyirenda blew his final whistle.
Speaking after the game, Kaunda praised his charges for a mission well accomplished.
“I am a very happy man and credit should go to the boys for a job well done. We analysed Bullets’ strengths and weaknesses during training and the boys have played according to instructions,” said Kaunda.
Bullets’ assistant coach Gerald Phiri conceded defeat, saying luck eluded his side.
“We had chances in the opening moments but we were not lucky enough to get a goal. Our colleagues got their chance from a free kick and they utilized it.”
Quizzed if the training boycott by Bullets’ players prior to the encounter had had a negative impact on the performance, Phiri said: “We knew we had this game, when we were boycotting training and this
is the price we have paid. But there will be no finger pointing, we have lost as a team.”
In another quarterfinal clash at Kalulu Stadium in Nchalo, Silver Strikers defeated Blantyre United 5-3 on post-match penalties after the teams had settled for a one-all draw in regulation time.
This means Silver will face their city rivals Civo in the semi-finals next week with winners of tomorrow’s matches involving Mighty Wanderers and Red Lions as well as Kamuzu Barracks versus Moyale Barracks meeting in the other semi-final.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :