Nyasa Big Bullets on a hot Saturday afternoon lifted the 2017 Carlsberg when beat their traditional rivals and defending champions, Mighty Be Forward Wanderers through post match penalties 5-3 at Bingu National stadium in Area 48, Lilongwe.
Bullets have reign supreme over their rivals and Head coach Elia Kananji has proved doubting Thomases that he is made of “Carlsberg genes” as the cup follow him where ever he has coached.
Determined Bullets had twice from behind to equal the scores and force the game into penalty shoot out.
Wanderer’s winger and top notch Yamikani Chester was the spoiler of the Nomad’s impending Carlsberg party when his penalty hit the upright when Bullets Keeper Kakhobwe had dive in the right direction.
Bullets converted all their five spot kicks through Chiukepo Msowoya, Fisher Anong’a Kondowe, Mussa Manyenje, Henry Kabichi and Nelson Kangunje while Wanderers were on target through Rafiq Namwera, Precious Sambani and Jafalie Chande.
This is the first time Bullets have been crowned champions at Bingu Stadium since it was officially opened on January 28, 2017 and this is a second painful defeat for Wanderers at the same venue this season as they also lost to Silver Strikers through penalties in the Airtel Top 8 cup.
Bullets nearly took an early lead through Muhammad Sulumba bearly two minutes after kick off but his effort his the side netting and Wanderers reply immediately through Isaac Kaliati but his powerful shot was saved by Kakhobwe.
Chande broke the deadlock in the 20 minute when he intercepted Emmanuel Zoya’s weak clearance and he slot in a low shot which eluded Kakhobwe.
Eights minutes later Sulumba gave Bullets fans force hope when he connected over the bar Pilirani Zonda’s cross at the mercy goalie Richard Chipuwa.
At half hour mark, Sulumba rose to the occasion to connected home Kondowe’s cross from right flank after out passing Ted Sumani to level the scores.
A minute to half time, Kaliati sent a hard and drive that beat Kakhobwe after Bullet’s shaky defence failed to clear the lines to stretch Nomad’s lead to 2-1.
At half time it was all smiles for the cup holders as they went to pep talk with a slander lead.
The second half saw Wanderers making a defensive substituon they rested Baston Kabango for Bongani Kaipa.
Chipuwa was called to duty in the 53rd minutes when he brilliantly save Kangunje’s 25 metre drive.
Kondowe had his curved cross narrowly missed the cross bar in the 65th minute when Manjenje had sent a searching cross into the penalty box.
Wanderers and Bullets made substitutions in the last 20 minutes of the game. Wanderers introduced Felix Zulu and Sambani for Essau Kanyenda and injured Harry Nyirenda while Bullets brought in Kabichi and Kondwani kumwenda for Fodya and Chimango Kayira respectively.
Just 16 minutes to time, Namwera handled the ball in the penalty box and referee Denis Nguluwe blew it for penalty.
The resultant spot kick was crafty planted home by Kangunje beating Chipuwa to level the scores 2-2.
The last minutes was 50-50 but Bullets looked more purposely looking for a winner as they appeared not willing to go for penalties.
Despite a lot of stoppages in the second half the officiating personnel only added three minutes to the amazement of many.
” Am happy we have managed to lift the cup and this is a clear indication that we are on top of Wanderers this season in terms of derby wins,” Bullets die hard Willard Mika remarked after the game.
A Nomad fan Isaac Nyirenda simply said, ” We are not good at penalties during cup final. Look second cup final defeat in a season and this is painful to us.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :