All set for Blantyre derby


The hour and moment of truth has come as arch-rivals Nyasa Big Bullets and Be Forward Wanderers clash in the Carlsberg Cup final at Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe Saturday afternoon.

It will be the first cup final involving Wanderers and Bullets at the facility. But the stadium also hosted the Airtel Top 8 Cup final between Wanderers and eventual winners Silver Strikers in June.

This final is like no other as Bullets interim Coach, Elia Kananji, faces his former club in what promises to be an explosive battle for the K10 million ultimate prize.


Kananji has no equal in as far as Carlsberg Cup exploits are concerned. He won the cup with Bullets in 2014 and at Wanderers in 2015 and 2016, before rejoining the People’s Team last season.

It seems the cup follows Kananji wherever he goes.

But he faces his real test this afternoon against a side with a good record in cup finals.


For the past two years, fans have been salivating for the Blantyre derby final after the two sides met in the same cup in 2015 at Civo Stadium.

The two teams also last met in the Carlsberg Cup final in 2003 which was marred by violence after the then Wanderers striker Muzipasi Mwangonde’s golden goal was disallowed by referee Kalyoto Ngosi.

For now, the 2003 incident is forgotten and every fan would want to quickly forget it. Bullets are bullish of beating their rivals having defeated them 1-0 in a league match played at the same venue last month.

“Wanderers are a good team but we want to win the cup more than them,” Kananji said.

Wanderers have a good record in cup games.

The Nomads Team Manager, Steve Madeira, was also upbeat ahead of the final.

“We want to get the Carlsberg Cup for a third straight time. We are aware that it will not come on a silver-platter because there is Bullets ahead of us. They are a good team and we are aware of the threat they pose but we have a mixture of experience and young players that will give us an edge,” Madeira said.

In this encounter, only Joseph Kamwendo and Fischer Kondowe are survivors from the squad that featured in the ill-fated 2003 final.

Wanderers have since been boosted by the return of defender Lucky Malata and winger Yamikani Chester from injuries.

Both missed the goal-less draw against Silver Strikers last weekend at the same venue. Stanley Sanudi and Jabulani Linje are also available for selection.

Chester, Kamwendo, Isaac Kaliati and Peter Wadabwa have the potential to cause trouble to Bullets’ defenders.

Bullets have a full squad as John Lanjesi has recovered. On a good day, Chiukepo Msowoya, Mussa Manyenje and Nelson Kangunje can form a great attacking partnership to cause plenty of problems to Wanderers.

The Nomads will be without midfield workhorse Alfred Manyozo junior who is serving a four-game suspension as well as Ishmael Thindwa and Amos Bello due to injuries.



The Nomads started their cup defence by beating lower league side, Fish Eagles, 6-5 on post-match penalties before knocking out Mafco FC 1-0 in the round-of-16.

In the quarter-finals, Wanderers edged out Blue Eagles 3-2 on post-match penalties after 1-1 in regulation time before beating Moyale Barracks by a similar margin in the semi-finals. Wanderers have won three matches except one on post-match penalties.


The People’s Team defeated Civil Sporting Club 2-1 in the round-of-32 before dumping out Kamuzu Barracks 5-3 on post-match penalties in a round-of-16 match. In the quarter-finals, Bullets knocked out Cobbe Barracks 1-0 before beating Red Lions 2-1 in the semi-finals.

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