With three days to go before Nyasa Big Bullets and Be Forward Wanderers take their latest instalment of the Blantyre derby to Lilongwe, the giants have set the tone for the Carlsberg Cup final.
The Daily Times had asked Wanderers General Secretary, Mike Butao and his Bullets’ counterpart, Albert Chigoga, for updates on their preparedness and what they feel about each others’ camp going into the final pencilled for Bingu National Stadium.
In response, Butao said Wanderers were determined to defend the cup.
“Bullets are a big team, we look at ourselves as the biggest team in the country right now and big teams live for moments like these.”
He added: “You can even see how the other so-called big teams spend sleepless nights trying to entice our players every night. There is nowhere else they can go to look for quality players.
“That is how big we are. We are top of the league and this is the second final in a row that we are in. We lost the first one through penalties. We are not underrating Bullets but we aim at getting a result in 90 minutes. We are preparing hard and we want to get this cup.”
The Nomads lost 1-0 to Bullets in a TNM Super League first-round match in Lilongwe recently, but Butao focused on their recent wins over the rivals in Mayors Charity Shield, Bus Ipite and Wafawafa Bi Four bonanzas.
In a separate response, Chigoga said: “We are cognisant of the fact that Wanderers is a good team. We are not underrating them and we are also not afraid of them.
“In attack, our opponents are really good but we will exploit their weak areas. We know [the areas] which, technically, will give us an edge in the game.”
He added that the match was a repeat of the aborted 2003 Carlsberg Cup final, which was marred by controversy after referee Kalyoto Ngosi denied Muzipasi Mwangonde’s would-be winner for Wanderers, ruling that a cross from Joseph Kamwendo went out before the striker connected the ball into the net.
“But unlike what happened then, football fans have become more educated on matters of fair-play and there will be no clashes other than enjoying the game itself,” he said.
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