Nyasa Big Bullets head coach Kalisto Pasuwa says he was not surprised with how his team struggled to beat the reserve side in the FDH Bank Cup Round of 32 encounter at Kamuzu Stadium on Saturday, saying that is the nature of cup games.
The People’s Team had to progress to the Round of 16 through a penalty shootout against against the Enos Chatama side.
Reacting to the victory, Pasuwa said even a Division Two team can outsmart a top flight side, hence winning the match through penalties after a 1-1 regulation time scoreline was expected.
“That’s the nature of cup games. I have seen it before where division two teams could outplay Super League sides, who always struggle against these players we call youngsters, so it’s something which normal in a competition like this.
“A well done to the opposition for playing well, but kudos to my players for the gallant fight. I had to give an opportunity to some of the guys who were coming from injuries and some who have been struggling with game time in the league and we wanted to see how they would fair against our reserve side.
“It’s a challenge to the boys to share energy levels with some of the players who have been playing in each and every game, so we will try to give others a chance to play and to prove themselves that they can be part of the team,” said Pasuwa.
The tactician said he was impressed with how the players who have not been active in the ongoing season faired in the match.
“It wasn’t a bad performance considering some of them are coming from injuries. For example we had Pilirani Zonda who played until 60 minutes and it was too much for him and may be the best option was to introduce him from the bench to avoid over-stretching him, but overall, he, together with the rest of the players did well in the match.”
His opposite number, Chatama, said his players should have won the tie in the first thirty minutes of the second half when they dominated and created chances, but lacked the finishing composure to punish the senior team.
“It was a good game where we struggled a little in the first half, but when we came back from recess we dominated and we should have won it with a wide margin. My players were very wasteful in front of the goal, but I wouldn’t dare to blame them, it was part of the game and all I can do is to encourage them to continue performing the way they did this afternoon,” explained Chatama.
The first team scored in the 9th minute through Luke Chima, but Kesten Simbi canceled out from the spot to take the match into the shootout from which Frank Willard and Yamikani Mologeni missed to send the main team to the last 16 of the competition, winning 5-4.