Alex Mwazalumo –Nyasa Times
Nyasa Big Bullets, Wednesday, May 25, 2016 reached the quarterfinals for the K60 million Presidential Football Cup after beating Blue Eagles 5-4 on post-match penalties in a tough match played before a huge crowd at Nankhaka Ground in Area 30 and vowed to “give everything” to win the silverware.
Bullets’ flamboyant technical director Billy Tewesa, who remained in the capital city after watching Eagles playing Silver Strikers on Sunday was over the moon after the final whistle: “Our aim is to win the Presidential Cup. Our sponsors, Nyasa Manufacturing Company told us to win trophies and we want to start with this one,” said Tewesa.
Eagles’ coach Deklerk Msakakuona conceded defeat but heaped praise on his charges for putting up a grand fight during normal play.
“The boys put up a good fight during normal play and when we had two opportunities to wrap up the game during the penalty kicks our boys failed to score because of pressure. That’s what happens in football and we accept the loss,” he said.
Following Wednesday’s victory, Bullets will now travel to the north for a quarterfinal tie against underdogs Kabwafu with the winner of the tie facing the winner between Dwangwa United and Mafco in the semi-finals.
The two teams played out a goal-less 90 minutes, characterised by misplaced passes and long balls before Mzuzu based referee Mabvuto Msimuko summoned the dreaded shoot-outs.
The first set of five penalty kicks for either side did not separate the two teams as Wister ‘Fomboni’ Phiri had his penalty kick saved by Bullets’ goalkeeper Ernest Kakhobwe with defender John Lanjesi’s kick also saved by Eagles’ substitute goalkeeper Chakonda Majanda, who was thrown into service on the dot of full time specifically for the penalty kicks.
The rest of the penalty takers for Bullets- Pilirani Zonda, Yamikani Fodya, Chiukepo Msowoya and Muhamad Sulumba converted. Eagles converted through Victor Nyirenda, Osward Maonga, Chisomo Chilasa and Gilbert Chirwa to force the game into sudden death spot-kicks.
McFallen Ngwira blasted Bullets’ first kick in the sudden death period over the cross-bar, leaving Eagles’ John Junior Malidadi with the simple yet difficult task of sealing the game for the hosts. With some Bullets’ fans walking out of the stadium, Kakhobwe saved Malidadi’s poorly taken kick.
As if that was not enough torture for Bullets’ fans, youthful Mike Mkwate had his sudden death kick saved by Majanga before Eagles’ Ackim Kazombo blasted his kick over the bar.
Bashir Maunde scored the next penalty by Bullets before Kakhobwe saved Enock Likoswe’s kick to pronounce the cops’ sudden death.
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