Defending champions Big Bullets Sunday beat Mafco 7-6 on post-match penalties to reach the semi-finals of the Carlsberg Cup in a match played before a huge crowd at Civo Stadium in Lilongwe.
Bullets have completed the semi-finals list and they join Silver Strikers, Be Forward Wanderers and Moyale Barracks in the semi-finals. They will face Silver in the semis while Nomads date Moyale in another tricky match.
After playing to a one-all draw in regulation time, the game had to be decided through penalties. Dalitso Sailesi stepped up to score the winning penalty after Vincent Gona had saved Martin Masoatheka’s sudden death penalty.
Bullets converted their spot-kicks through Pilirani Zonda, Mussa Manyenje, Eneya Banda, Fischer Kondowe, Chikumbutso Kanyenda and Miracle Gabeya while Bashir Maunde (missed) and Jaffali Chande’s penalty was saved.
On the part of Mafco, Saidi Mtekama, Osward Nkagula, Maurice Chiumia, Paul Phiri, Zasha Mnong’oneza and Yohane Maloya converted their penalties but Hassan Chapola missed whereas Masoatheka and Richard Mbulu had their spot-kicks saved.
The Salima-based soldiers started the game well and dominated in the first half. They took the lead in the 37th minute through Chiumia who headed in a Mnong’oneza clever free-kick.
But Bullets grabbed the equaliser two minutes after recess through Chande, who scored from a rebound after Mafco’s goalkeeper Jailosi Kapalamula had saved his first attempt to send Bullets fans into wild celebrations.
Mafco were shy in front of goal, and missed numerous scoring opportunities. Mbulu and Kalisto Kalinda missed the best chances of the game.
On the other hand, Bullets defence, without Sankhani Mkandwire was porous on a number of occasions.
After the victory, Bullets mentor Nswazurimo Ramadhan was pleased with the victory though his charges were not at their best.
His Mafco counterpart, Thomas Maloya was dejected and blamed the loss on missed chances.
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