Mighty Be Forward Wanderers on Sunday, August 16, 2015 booked a Carlsberg Cup final berth against bitter rivals Big Bullets after edging Moyale Barracks 1-0 in a tough semi-final encounter played before a huge crowd at Civo Stadium in Lilongwe.
Striker Victor Nyirenda claimed the lone goal on 31 minutes after heading home a flicked ball by Mapopa Kaunda following a throw-inn by Ted Sumani.
The goal completely destabilised the soldiers from Kaning’ina as Wanderers created chance after chance. However, Wanderers strikers Nyirenda, Kaunda and Kondwani Kumwenda gave away the opportunities that could have seen the vehicle dealers wrapping up the game within the first 45 minutes.
Kumwenda had his weak shot from the box saved by Moyale goalkeeper Juma Chikwenga before Nyirenda failed to connect a cross from Mike Kaziputa Kaliati from the six yard box.
Youthful Kaunda, who is normally used as a super substitute followed with another terrible miss, kicking the ball wide from the 18-yard box with only Chikwenda at his mercy.
Came second half- pressure started mounting on the Nomads as the soldiers started pushing forward in numbers.
Moyale’s dangerous striker Deus Nkutu thought he had levelled the scores midway into the last half but his goal was ruled out for off-side against Luka Muyaba, who was interfering with Wanderers’ goal keeper Richard Chipuwa on the goal-line.
Sensing danger, Wanderers technical panel made some tactical changes, bringing in defending midfielder Jacob Ngwira and Luka Milanzi for Kaunda and Kumwenda. The Nomads also sacrificed goal scorer Nyirenda for defender Bongani Kaipa to counter the soldiers’ onslaught.
The changes bore fruits as the Nomads successfully managed to absorb the pressure and preserve their slender lead. Chipuwa was named man-of-match after the match.
In his post-match interview, Wanderers coach Elia Kananji hailed his charges for keeping their nerves especially in the second half when the opponents were coming wave after wave.
“We could have finished off the game in the first half but we squandered a lot of opportunities. After missing the opportunities, pressure started mounting on us in the second half but the boys stood firm,” said Kananji.
He said he would look at the scoring problem before the Nomads face rivals Big Bullets in the final slated for the same venue on August 29, 2015.
Moyale’s Nicholas Mhango refused to discuss his team’s weaknesses only saying “They (Wanderers) have won but not all is lost for us. We will go back and start strategizing for the remaining competitions.”
It will be the first time for Wanderers and Bullets to meet in a Cup final in 12 years after their Carlsberg Cup final was abandoned at Kamuzu Stadium due to crowd violence, which erupted after a disallowed golden goal for Wanderers by Mzuzu based referee Kalyoto Ngosi.
Carlsberg eventually pulled out the sponsorship and the final was never replayed.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :