Nyasa Big Bullets on Saturday 13th August 2017 narrowly beat resilient Cobbe Barracks 1-0 at the Balaka Stadium to cruise through
to the semifinals of the Carlsberg Cup.
From the word go, Bullets went straight into business and nearly took an early lead six minutes into the first half but unmarked Bright Munthali shot went off target.
The ‘Peoples Team’ as Bullets are famously called were at it again with an attempt from pint sized striker Mussa Manyenje but his
powerful header went straight into the palms of Cobbe Barracks goalkeeper Chisomo Kaseghe.
The home side Cobbe Barracks launched their first fierce counter attack in the 20th minute which resulted into dangerman Phillip
Kishombe been brought down in the penalty area but referee Zondwayo Siwombo gave him a blind eye.
Bullets scored in the 23rd minute through Emmanuel Zoya’s header from a Chiukepo Msowoya’s beautifully curved freekick but the goal was ruled out for an offside.
Msowoya was two minutes later yellow carded for diving inside Cobbe Barracks penalty box.
The best chance for Cobbe came in the 37th minute when Kishombe’s powerful right footed drive was denied entry into the net by the cross bar with Bullets goalkeeper Ernest Kakhobwe completely beaten.
However, Bullets continued to attack wave after wave but failed to break the deadlock with Bright Munthali squandering several scoring opportunities.
With only a minute into the second half, Munthali for Bullets was yellow carded for diving in the penalty box.
The soldiers of Cobbe made a double substitution 20 minutes after recess bringing in Tinenenji Nandolo and Frank Mussa replacing veteran Patrick Fologonya and Emmanuel Sikelo.
In the 65th minute, Bullets finally got their mathematics right when Kondwani Kumwenda slotted the ball home from a Pilirani Zonda chip in.
After the goal, Bullets attacked wave after wave but Cobbe defence maintained their discipline.
Bullets introduced veteran Fischer Kondowe and Henry Kabichi for Mussa Manyenje and Bright Phiri in the 72nd minute.
They later brought in George Nyirenda for Kumwenda to tighten up the defence.
Cobbe tried to search for an equaliser which never came and nearly conceded the second in the 85th minute with a Yamikani Fodya strike
being denied entry by the upright after some nice interchange passes between Kondowe and Zonda on the right flank.
At the end of regulation time, Bullets were 1-0 winners and progressed to the semifinals.
They will face Red Lions who beat second tier side Kasungu Police at Civo Stadium on Sunday.
Speaking in a post-match interview, Bullets coach Elia Kananji admitted Cobbe gave them tough ride.
“Cup games are always difficult and Cobbe indeed gave us ough time but I am happy that we have won,” said Kananji.
“We were abit shaken as the boys were playing under pressure to win but the boys did well,” he added.
His counterpart Chifundo Masapula conceded the defeat.
“We have lost yes and that’s part of football they have won and we wish them all the best.
“We were slow in our attacking and our opponents were better off. The referee also did a very good job although there were few mistakes but he is a human being and we understand that” he said.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :