The soccer gods have finally smiled upon Malawi’s football royalty, Maule, as they secured a final spot in the Cecafa finale.
It has been a long wait, but as they say, good things come to those who wait, and at last, the footballing chickens for Malawi’s most followed and supported team, Nyasa Big Bullets have finally come home to roost.
The Malawian people’s team, as they are popularly known in the soccer echelons, right from the beginning had been intentional and they had set their eyes on the ultimate prize – and the once seemingly impossible dream is now just an inch edging closer to reality – all because they believed, and pushed.
It was a tough game, but the Malawian football ambassadors gave a five-star stellar performance and endured the pressure to the last whistle with resilience, determination and belief – and, therefore, they pushed, pushed and pushed.
Then, they deservedly got it.
Two vital goals from Brighton Munthali were enough for Nyasa Big Bullets in the 90th minute to force Azam into penalties where the Peoples Team progressed through to Cecafa final with 4 – 2 win.
In 90 minutes, the game ended 2-2 and hero of the day for the Ndirande based out-fit was Munthali.
It was a game full of chances, but Bullets dominated the game with Peter Mponda’s favourite style of play, tiki-taka in play as the visitors, Bullets displayed brilliance and flair for almost an hour mark.
Assistant Coach and Former Malawi national team defender and captain, Peter ‘Mjojo’ Mponda who was in charge of the team in the absence of Head coach, Calisto Pasuwa made some changes in the second half otherwise, he used most of the players he featured in their previous matches at the tournament.
For instance, the likes of Yamikani Fodya, Babatunde Adepoju, Sankhani Nyirenda, Gomezgani Chirwa started the game on Wednesday.
Bullets reached the semi-final of the tournament after finishing second in Group A with five points, while Azam finished top of Group B with six points.
According to Malawi’s renowned soccer tele-analyst, Kevin Moyo, son to former Flames coach, Henry Mbwanga Moyo, Nyasa Big Bullets Assistant coach Peter Mponda becomes the second Malawian coach to qualify a local club into the finals of the CECAFA club championship.
Mponda’s feat comes after former Bata Bullets forward Kanjedza Kamwendo who qualified ADMARC Tigers in 1983 at a tournament held in Tanzania.
Moyo said: “Nyasa Big Bullets becomes the second Malawian side to reach the finals of cecafa after Tigers.
“During the 1983 tournament Clement “Chimbalame” Mkwalula was player of the series and ADMARC Tigers went on and lost the finals to AFC Leopards of kenya.
What will history give us, a new slate or repeat itself. Only the smiling gods of Malawi football will decide.
“We can only wait,” quipped Moyo who is also a broadcast sports journalist.
Nyasa Big Bullets head coach Peter Mponda in an interview with Nyasa Times After the game said: “I am so proud of the boys. They really worked hard. The game was really tough but they didn’t stop fighting.
“They, Azam FC, have had the comfort of playing at home, but we we gave them hell of a tough time and we kept attacking and attacking menacingly.
“We are now thinking about the finals. We will give our best and do well we can to take the glory home,” said Mponda.
Nyasa Big Bullets who also lead the Malawi Premier League standing started the tournament on a low note with a 1-1 draw against Express FC, before picking the same result against Young Africans SC and winning the last group game against Atlabara FC 2-0.
They are yet to lose a game in the competition
Yusuf Mosi, the CECAFA Competitions Director said that this tournament has helped teams prepare well ahead of the kickoff of the 2021/2022 CAF competitions.
“This tournament has helped teams prepare better because by the group stage every team has played three matches and those that are through to the knockout stage will each play five games,” he said.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :