By Mphatso Malidadi:
Airtel Top 8 Cup champions Blue Eagles were left relieved after surviving a scare from Nyasa Big Bullets Reserve when they progressed to the quarterfinals after winning 7-6 on post-match penalties at Kamuzu Stadium on Sunday.
Eagles assistant Coach, Christopher Sibale, admitted that it was a tough game as the cops snatched a late equaliser to force the game into sudden death.
“Teams from lower divisions always come flat out against Super League sides. It was not surprising, therefore, to see Bullets Reserve coming into the game full of determination as they aimed at causing an upset. But we never gave up. We knew that we needed to fight hard as a big team. This helped us to get an equaliser in added time,” Sibale said.
Stuart Mbunge returned to haunt Bullets faithful when he scored in the 92nd minute of added time to cancel Hassan Kajooke’s first half goal.
It was an open game and both teams had chances to score on several occasions but it was Bullets Reserve who were the most wasteful.
Bullets Reserve Coach, Enos Chatama, said he was not worried with the loss.
“We should give credit to Blue Eagles for fighting to the end. We lost concentration towards the end of the game; no wonder, we conceded late on. But our supporters should not get worried. They just need to encourage these youngsters because they are growing with the right attitude,” Chatama said.
During the penalties, Eagles converted through Mike Nyondo, Pacharo Kumilonde, Mbunge, Micium Mhone, Chisomo Chilasa and Steve Chagoma whereas Maxwell Salambula’s effort was saved by Bullets Reserve goalkeeper Richard Mwaila.
The junior People’s Team scored through Kajooke, Charles Petro, White Kusteni, Nickson Nyasulu and Wilton Kaunda Jnr whereas Gift Jana and Innocent Msowoya missed their kicks.
Eagles are expected to meet Moyale Barracks in the quarterfinals.
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