Nyasa Big Bullets on Sunday came from behind to send Red Lions packing out of 2017 Carlsberg Cup at Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe and reach the final of the prestigious cup.
Bullets have set an interesting date with their traditional rivals Mighty Be Forward Wanderers for the 2017 Carlsberg Cup final slated for September 9, 2017 at the same venue.
This will be a repeat of the 2015 final which was played at Civo stadium in which Wanderers won 2-1 and this time around Bullets will be aiming for revenge.
Red Lions have themselves to blame for not maintaining their first half good display and resorted into delaying tactics and hard tackling which costed them a game.
The Zomba-based soldiers nearly had a quick goal through Steve Ziba when his 25 metre long drive was tamed by Bullets keeper Ernest Kakhobwe.
Red Lion’s Loti Chawinga twice in the 10th and 18th minutes came close of scoring using his long range efforts but Kakhobwe was alert in goals.
At half hour mark, Chawinga broke the deadlock when he slotted in Ziba’s cross beating Kakhobwe from close range.
Two minutes later Red Lions keeper Jacob Kaunda was called to duty when he parried Mike Mkwate’s shot and a rebound by Mussa Manyenje was blocked by Chimwemwe Chidati.
Bullets left back Yamikani Fodya weaved his way through and his shot was saved by Kaunda in the 36th minute.
Six minutes to break Bullet’s Chiukepo Msowoya blasted the ball wide after being set by Mkwate.
Red Lions went to recess with a slander lead and Bullets fans were kept wondering as their team was trailing after creating a number of close chances.
The second half saw the downfall of Red Lions as they completely chanced their game and resorted to time wasting and hard tackling.
Mkwate put Manyenje through in the 48th minute but he shot wide.
Chawinga unbelievably handled the ball in the box due to poor clearance by defender Benesi Kaisi and referee Chidziwitso Simbi spotted it and blew for a penalty in the 53rd minute.
Bullet’s Nelson Kangunje made no mistake on the spot to level the scores.
Msowoya doubled the scores to put Bullets in the lead on the 67th minute when he broke through on right flank and drove a power packed shot which gave keeper Kaunda no chance to save it.
With the second goal Reds appeared totally disorganised and were playing hard tackling game giving away more set pieces to the advantage of their opponents.
Bullets rested Msowoya for Muhammad Sulumba in order to save him from picking a second card after he got it when he fouled keeper Kaunda.
The remaining minutes saw Bullets sealing their defence and Kakhobwe in goals had a free second half as Red Lions remained harmless.
” We have watched a good game though at times there was too much stoppages, ” Mark Jere said.
He said it is only hoped that they will be entertained to a more free flow cup final between Blantyre rivals.
” Am happy we are facing Wanderers again in the Carlsberg cup final, we want to revenge what they did to us in 2015 at Civo stadium,” Area 25 Bullets Fan, Felix Chalamanda hinted.
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