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Ernest heroics

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Ernest Kakhobwe staked his claim for Nyasa Big Bullets’ number one jersey with post-match penalty heroics that sent the People’s Team to 2016 Presidential Cup quarterfinals at the expense of Blue Eagles Tuesday in Lilongwe.

After this round-of-16 match at Nankhaka Ground, Bullets date Kabwafu FC in the quarterfinals on a date Football Association of Malawi (Fam) will decide.

The match attracted a big crowd in Lilongwe. In the end, the penalty lotteries proved decisive.

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Having been battling for the precious jersey against Owen Chaima, Kakhobwe grabbed his chance by stopping the penalties, including the Eagles’ decisive one by Enock Likoswe after Bashir Maunde had converted for Bullets.

Full-time had ended goalless even after Bullets coach Franco Ndawa had sought to add fire power upfront by introducing Muhamad Sulumba for Mussa Manyenje.

On the other end, Eagles coach Derklerk Msakakuona had also substituted goalkeeper John Soko for penalty – specialist, Chakunda Majanga.

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The substitute ‘keeper managed to stop John Lanjesi and McFarlen Ngwira’s spot-kicks for Bullets, whereas Kakhobwe also denied Wister Phiri and John Malidadi Jnr.

And in a post-match interview with Times Radio, Bullets Team Manager, Rahim Ishmael, said the team was determined to go all the way and grab the cup.

“We came here to attack and it worked for us. We are ready to go to Mzuzu. We urge our supporters in Mzuzu to rally behind us,” Ishmael said.

Eagles General Manager, Gabriel Chirwa, accepted defeat, saying “We did not put away the scoring chances we created and in the end, we got punished.”

The loss completed a week to forget for Eagles who were licking the wounds of their first TNM Super League defeat this season after going down 2-1 to Silver Strikers in Lilongwe on Sunday.

Line-ups

Eagles: John Soko (Majanga), Steve Chagoma, Likoswe, Ackim Kazombo, Gio Banda, Gilbert Chirwa, Stuart Mbunge, Alupheous Nyoni, Gregory Nachipo, Vi c t o r Nyirenda, Malidadi Jnr.

Bullets: Kakhobwe, Yamikani Fodya, Lanjesi, Pilirani Zonda, Bashir Maunde, Henry Kabichi (George Nyirenda), Dalitso Sailesi, Mike Mkwate, Mgwira, Chiukepo Msowoya, Manyenje (Sulumba).

Referee: Mabvuto Msimuko

Quarterfinal line-up

Venues: Fam to decide

Max Bullets v Wanderers

Dwangwa v Mafco

Epac v Moyale Barracks

Kabwafu v Bullets/Eagles.

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