Nyasa Big Bullets’ mentor, Elia Kananji, has refused to wear the Carlsberg Cup specialist tag after guiding his charges to the quarterfinals of the competition.
In a round-of-16 tie, Bullets sweated to boot out Kamuzu Barracks 5-3 on post-match penalties after the game ended 1-1 in regulation time.
KB went into the lead in the second half through a Dave Banda goal.
But the People’s Team equalised through substitute Collen Nkhulambe from a goal-mouth scramble that followed some clever footwork into the box by slippery midfielder Mike Mkwate.
Kananji’s exploits in the cup are well documented having won it at Bullets in 2014 and Wanderers in 2015.
“I will not let history blind me. I am concentrating on helping my team win this competition again. It is important that we should not take chances as anything can happen,” he said.
The former Blantyre United and Be Forward Wanderers mentor said beating Kamuzu Barracks in the round of 16 and Civil Sporting Club before that in the round of 32, had given him confidence that it is possible to reclaim the cup this season.
“This is a different campaign altogether. As a team, we are focusing on winning the cup. After our exit in the Airtel Top 8 Cup and a poor start in the TNM Super League, we need to do well in the Carlsberg Cup to repay our supporters who have been patient with us,” he said.
Kamuzu Barracks Team Manager, Francis Shaba, while wishing Bullets well, said the side lost concentration due to circumstances beyond their control.
“This was a big game. Organisers should have scheduled the match at a better stadium. There were a lot of disturbances including attacks on our players.
I think Fam as organisers should have considered security first. I don’t know what would have happened if Bullets had lost the game,” he said.
Shaba said the team will now focus on defending the TNM Super League title.
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