Blue Eagles FC on Sunday gave Big Bullets a lot of food for thought ahead of the Confederation of African Football (Caf) campaign when they whipped the newly crowned TNM Super League champions 2-0 in the final of the Massa Super Cup at Civo Stadium in Lilongwe.
The two-day tournament, which was organised by Malawi Schools Sports Association (Massa) started on a sour note as it was learnt at the eleventh hour that one of the participating teams, Nkhwazi FC from Zambia had not made it.
As a result, Blue Eagles who had been paired against their Zambian counterparts had a walk-over into the final.
As if that was not enough, a game between Civo and Big Bullets ended in controversy when the hosts shunned the dreaded penalty shoot-outs after a nil-all draw in regulation time.
According to the tournament format, games were supposed to go straight into penalty shoot-outs if
there was no winner in regulation time but Civo refused to take part in the shoot-outs, claiming they had information that Bullets would still face Eagles in the final on Sunday regardless of the Saturday outcome.
Some Civo players wanted to take part in the penalty shoot-outs but were ordered by their coach Oscar Kaunda to leave the field of play.
Following the behavior by the host side, Bullets were declared winners right on the field of play and played Blue Eagles in the final.
The depleted and exhausted Bullets started the final on a promising note but lost steam towards the break. They were duly punished by the cops, who had a full strength squad on the dot of the first 45 minutes
as Schumaker Kuwali rammed home a loose ball after a corner kick by Mecium Mhone.
Bullets hopes for an equalizer were dashed in the 29th minute when their goalkeeper Chimwemwe Kumkwawa deflected a Mecium Mhone strike into his own net. Mhone’s shot was seemingly going off-target but
Kumkwawa dived for the ball before diverting it into the net with his hands.
The second goal killed off all the resistance from Bullets and they were just lucky not to concede more goals.
Coach Elia Kananji played down the defeat, saying he had brought a weak team after the bulk of his first eleven refused to travel.
“We left behind several key players who refused to travel for reasons best known to themselves and I had to do with the squad that I had. Apart from missing some players, we did not sleep on Friday as we travelled to Lilongwe straight from the Prize Presentation at College of Medicine,” said Kananji.
Amongst the missing faces on Bullets line up were first choice goalkeeper Vicent Gona, Pilirani Zonda, Sankhani Mkandawire, James Chilapondwa, Jimmy Zakazaka, Dalitso Sailesi and Henry Kabichi.
Eagles’ coach Deklerk Msakakuona was all praises for his charges for taking the chances they had.
For winning the tournament, Eagles were presented with the Massa Super Cup by Principal Secretary for Youth and Sports Justin Saidi.
Both teams also received Christmas hampers from Rab Processors Limited, which also sponsored the trophy through its Sunshine Brand.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :