We’re not underdogs—Karonga warn Big Bullets
Karonga United are in every sense of the word underdogs. They play in second-tier league and are playing away, hence go into this afternoon’s cup match against Nyasa Big Bullets like the biblical David challenging Goliath.
Despite being minnows, Karonga have, ahead of this afternoon’s Fisd Challenge Cup round-of-16 contest at Chilomoni Stadium in Blantyre, drawn inspiration from their last season’s giant-killing antic when they stunned Bullets 1-0 in a TNM Super League match at Mzuzu Stadium.
Karonga Coach, Dave Muyombe, yesterday said his charges were ready to give Bullets, who are unbeaten at the Chilomoni venue in all competitions this season, a good run for their money.
“Bullets may think of us as underdogs but we have an advantage over them. We have young and talented players who, unlike the experienced Bullets players, can play for 90 minutes,” Muyombe said.
The Fam C-Licence holder was referring to exciting talent such as strikers Anthony Walusungu Mfune, Khumbo Msowoya and Green Msowoya.
Karonga patron Alufeyos Chipanga echoed the coach’s remarks.
“We know where to press when we are playing Bullets. We are not afraid of them. We beat them in Mzuzu last season and they robbed us [of victory] at Kamuzu Stadium,” Chipanga said.
Nonetheless, Bullets go into this encounter as favourites, after demolishing Blue Eagles 3-0 in a league second-round match played on Sunday at the same venue.
Bullets Team Manager, James Chilapondwa, yesterday said they might feature fringe players today.
“We are all set for the match and we don’t have injuries and suspensions. Of late, we have been rotating our starting line-up, so expect some changes. We want this cup at Bullets,” Chilapondwa said.
He said he expects the visitors to come with the intention of humiliating Bullets as was the case last season.
Chilapondwa said their recent performance gives them an upper hand to proceeding to the quarter-finals of the competition.
Bullets qualified for the round of 16 after beating Dwangwa United 4-1. Karonga should watch out for their in-form home-boy Chiukepo Msowoya, Nelson Kangunje and Emmanuel Zoya.
Chilapondwa believes a win over Karonga would boost Bullets’ morale going into Saturday’s league match against rivals, Be Forward Wanderers.
In another game, Kamuzu Barracks will play against Southern Region Premier Division side, Chikwawa United, at Kalulu Stadium in Chikwawa.
The TNM Super League defending champions’ Coach, Billy Phambala, said they were looking forward to winning the cup this year.
“It’s a tricky fixture to us because we don’t know their style of play. They have home-ground advantage but we will go there as soldiers. We are just worried with the weather as it is too hot in Nchalo,” Phambala said.
Chikwawa United Coach, Macdonald Yobe, said today’s game offers his charges a litmus test.
“After qualifying for the national phase, we knew that tough assignments were ahead of us. We are going into the game as underdogs, but we can surprise them,” Yobe said.
Other round-of-16 matches involve Mafco playing against Masters Security at Chitowe Stadium, Dwangwa whereas Blue Eagles host Mzuni at Nankhaka in Lilongwe.
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