A goalless draw at Mzuzu Stadium on Saturday was enough for the people’s team, Nyasa Big Bullets, to go through to the semis of the Airtel Top 8 Cup and for the soldiers to fall out in a match that was played in cool weather conditions and before a mammoth crowd.
The People’s Team , who were coming from a one-nil win in the first leg, had an upper share of scoring chances in the first half which they did not utilize accordingly although both teams did not show spectators beautiful passing football.
Fischer Kondowe’s cross from the left in the sixth minute was so close to goalkeeper JumaChikwenga and although Brighton Munthali tried to tussle with Moyale’s goal minder, the result was a goal kick.
In the 14th minute, Munthali broke through, again on the left flank, and managed a decent cross into the penalty area but Chiukepo Msowoya’s free header was blocked by Juma Chikwengausing his knee.
It was in the 25th minute when veteran midfielder Fischer Kondowe started a clever move from the middle of the park and brilliantly exchanged passes with Brighton Munthali but his final touch intended to be a cross went straight at goal and Chikwenga had to simply parry it away.
Bullets technical panel pulled out Nelson Kangunje in the 58th minute for Chimango Kayira who did not have any meaningful impact in the game. Henry Kabichi’s free kick in the 69th minute was tipped over the cross bar by Juma Chikwenga.
The soldiers became offensive mid way through the second half. Boyboy Chima’s clever pass on the floor from a free kick, four metres away from the half way line inside Bullets’ half, foundClifford Fukizi on the left who unleashed a thunderous shot from way out but goalkeeper Ernest Kakhobwe was equal to the task as he pocketed the ball into his chest with no problems.
Fresh legs of Deus Mkutu were introduced for the soldiers in the 76th minute replacing Brown Magaga but nothing could be said about his presence in the game. Gastin Simkonda’s hard and low drive nine minutes before full time was fumbled by the Bullets goalie but Dan Sibale’sfollow up shot went over the cross bar.
The talented lad for Bullets, Mike Mkwate, was introduced into the game three minutes to full time, replacing Brighton Munthali but he too did not have any impact in the game as the scoreboard still read 0-0 when the final whistle was blown by referee Alfred Chilinda.
Moyale’s Gastin Simkonda was voted player of the match.
Speaking to Nyasa Times after the match, Team Manager for the people’s team, James Chilapondwa, admitted that it was a tough game against the soldiers.
“I am happy with this result because we are through to the semis. Moyale came hard on us in the second half and desperately needed a goal to take the match into penalties but I thank God we are through. We will work hard to do better in the forthcoming games in this tournament,” explained Chilapondwa.
Moyale Barracks Coach Charles Kamanga said it was painful to bow out of the Airtel Top 8 Cup in the quarter-finals.
“My players played very well in this game. It’s unfortunate that we didn’t get a goal. I congratulate Bullets for sailing through. I also commend Bullets supporters for behaving very well throughout ninety minutes,” remarked KamangaFollow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :