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Bullets fly, Eagles down

Dedza boot Eagles out of FDH cup

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Peter Mponda

Nyasa Big Bullets booked a quarterfinal place in the inaugural K90 million FDH Bank Cup after beating Mighty Tigers 2-0 at Kamuzu Stadium Sunday.

But Dedza Young Soccer caused an upset in the competition when they knocked out Blue Eagles 5-4 on post-match penalties at Nakhaka Stadium. The game ended one-all in regulation time.

This means Bullets and Dedza have joined Mighty Wanderers, Silver Strikers, Mafco, Ekwendeni Hammers, Rumphi United and Ntopwa in the quarterfinals.

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Interestingly, two second-tier teams have reached the quarterfinals of the competition at the expense of two top flight teams.

Rumphi knocked out Red Lions 4-1 on post-match penalties after the match also ended 1-1 in regulation time on Friday.

On a chilly afternoon at Kamuzu Stadium, Bullets scored a goal in each half.

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Youngster Lanjesi Nkhoma broke the deadlock in the 20th minute with a neat finish when he connected an Eric Kaonga cross, beating Tigers goalkeeper Dalitso Khungwa.

MacFallen Mgwira sealed the victory at the dot of full time with a wonderful strike.

Tigers struggled in the first half but were a much-changed side in the second half. However, they failed to break Bullets’ resilience, with the People’s Team goalkeeper Rabson Chiyenda making some fine saves.

Bullets Assistant Coach Peter Mponda said the victory was important to them.

“We knew it would be a difficult match playing against Tigers. But what matters most is that we utilised our chances and we are through to the quarterfinals,” said Mponda, who was in-charge of the team in the absence of Head Coach Kalisto Pasuwa.

Tigers Coach Trevor Kajawa was disappointed with the result.

“It is painful to us. We switched off in the first half but upped the game in the second half,” Kajawa said.

At Nankhaka Stadium, Micium Mhone gave Eagles the lead but it was short lived as Felix Msowoya equalised for Dedza in the 15th minute.

Both sides tried hard looking for the winner in regulation time but it never came, forcing the game to penalties.

Dedza goalkeeper saved Ackim Leonard was the hero of the day when he saved Wonder Jelemani’s penalty before Thandizo Chimwala netted the decisive spot kick.

Mhone, Mike Nyondo, Paul Master and Gaddie Chirwa scored their penalties for Eagles whereas George Mponda, Ernest Mdazepa, Innocent Kathumba, Sedio Zuze and Chimwala scored for the lower league side.

Eagles Caretaker Coach Wilson Chidati rued missed chances.

“Penalties are lotteries. We had chances but we missed them,” Chidati said.

But Dedza Coach Andrew Bunya was delighted with the team’s performance.

“We were underdogs but I told the boys to believe in themselves,” he added.

The winner of the inaugural K90 million will pocket K25 million plus a trophy, the highest prize money in domestic football, whereas the runner-up will get K8 million.

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