Moyale Barracks host Nyasa Big Bullets in a second-leg quarter-final match—the third meeting between the two teams this season— of the Airtel Top 8 at Mzuzu Stadium Saturday afternoon.
Bullets go into the match with a goal-advantage, having beaten the Kaning’ina Lions 1-0 at Kalulu Stadium in Chikwawa district a fortnight ago.
Earlier, Bullets saw off Moyale 2-0 in a TNM Super League match at the same venue, but today, the People’s Team face a tough test on the road.
However, Moyale Coach, Charles Kamanga, said playing at home gives them an advantage to proceed to the semi-final stage.
“We have had scoring problems, but we have tried to fix them. Bullets have one leg in the semi-finals but they know that it is not easy beating us at home.
“That does not mean we are undermining them as they are a good team that is in scoring form. With their full squad, it would not be easy for us. However, we cannot accept to be beaten three times by the same team,” Kamanga said.
Moyale will likely miss the services of their defending midfielder, BoyBoy Chima, who got injured during last weekend’s fracas involving the soldiers and Mzuni FC at the same venue.
“We have been with him in camp under the supervision of our doctor. He had a cut on the head which is healing, but he has problems with the hip so that makes him doubtful for the match,” Kamanga said.
In the absence of Chima, Kamanga said he was optimistic that Brown Magaga, Deus Mkutu, Lloyd Njaliwa, Gastin Simkonda and MacDonald Harawa will do the job for the soldiers.
On the other hand, Bullets, who refused to release their players to the national team’s camp training, are ready to invade the Mzuzu barracks.
Bullets Coach, Rodgers Yasini, yesterday admitted that playing against Moyale would be tough.
“Yes, we are ready but we are playing at their [Moyale] backyard. We just scored one goal at our home ground and this is a sign that they are a strong side. But we hope to carry the day,” Yasini said.
Bullets will pin their hopes on strikers Chiukepo Msowoya, Bright Munthali and Patrick Phiri who are in top form, scoring in every game.
Defenders Bashir Maunde, John Lanjesi and goalkeeper Rabson Chiyenda have created a strong backline for Bullets.
The People’s Team has beefed up its squad with Gift Jana and Sydney Chabulika from their reserve side to step in for injured left-backs, Emmanuel Zoya and Yamikani Fodya.
The winners of today’s match will be the first team to reach the semi-final stage of the Airtel Top 8 which Silver Strikers won last year.
In another quarter-final second-leg match, Be Forward Wanderers hosts Kamuzu Barracks at Balaka Stadium Saturday.
The Nomads won the first-leg 1-0, just like Blue Eagles and Silver who face Mafco and Civil Sporting Club in the quarter-final second leg on May 26 and 27, respectively.
K15 million is at stake for the champion of the cup which mobile service provider, Airtel, sponsors.
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