A 13-minute second half operation saw giants Nyasa Big Bullets cripple Mighty Be Forward Wanderers, eventually finding the signal to the Airtel Top 8 final after edging their age-old rivals 2-1 in a grueling semi-final tie played before a huge crowd at Bingu National Stadium on Saturday, June 16, 2018.
Stepping onto the Bingu Stadium turf as underdogs- owing to their recent poor form, Wanderers were a completely changed side as they took the game to their rivals in the first half as well as the second half’s opening moments. Their only set-back was the lack of the final punch.
Former Azam Tigers’ striker Yamikani Chester was the main architect behind the Nomads’ attacks but his efforts were not well utilized by youthful striker Khumbo Ng’ambi and attacking winger Isaac Kaliati, who had no clue to beat Rabson Chiyenda in between the Bullets’ posts.
The Bullets’ goal-minder also deserves some credit for maintaining a clean sheet in a torrid first 45 minutes for the cigar manufacturers.
After playing second fiddle to the Nomads for the better part, Bullets had to respond with fire in the 56th minute, when Bright ‘Bweke’ Munthali struck from close range as Wanderers failed to clear a corner kick by veteran Fischerb Kondowe.
The operation was not over yet as Chiukepo Msowoya followed with the second strike on 69 minutes after some poor defending by Wanderers.
Substitute Ziko Mkanda, who had come in for Ng’ambi reduced the arrears for Wanderers in the 83rd minute but his team could not get the equalizer in the closing moments.
Bullets’ coach Rodgers Yasin conceded Wanderers gave them a tough time but praised his charges for keeping their nerves.
“We thought it would be a walkover for us but I must admit Wanderers gave us a good game. Credit should go to our boys for keeping their nerves and getting the result in the second half,” said Yasin.
Wanderers’ team manager Steve Madeira accepted the defeat, saying his side got punished for failing to utilize good chances.
“We had good chances to win the game but if you don’t utilize your chances, you get punished. This is what has happened to us and I can only congratulate Bullets for reaching the final,” said Madeira.
With the victory, Bullets will now face police outfit Blue Eagles in the final, slated for June 30, 2018.
Eagles booked their final berth after beating cup holders Silver Strikers 1-0 last week.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :