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Bullets Reserves out of Champions Cup

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FCB Nyasa Big Bullets Reserves are out of the inaugural Champions Cup following their 5-4 defeat to Baka City on post-match penalties at the Champions Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Chrispin Mapemba scored earlier in the second half before Robert Conel scored late in the tie to force them into penalty shootouts.

What happened

Scintillating football was on show in a fully packed Champions Stadium right from the start as both sides looked quite comfortable on the ball by moving it around in well-coordinated patterns.

With the quarter-final unfolding, Enos Chatama’s boys claimed more authority and created chance after chance but we were unlucky in our pursuit to get the opening goal.

Despite being completely outplayed, the newly TNM Super League-promoted side, Baka City, counted themselves lucky to go into the halftime break
not behind.

Ten minutes into the second half, the sheer pressure our youngsters had been putting on the Northern Region Premier Division League champions finally paid off as we took the lead from open play.

From down the right byline, Mapemba cut inside with a couple of dribbles before unleashing a powerful low shot which went through the legs of Baka’s goalie and the ball agonizingly crawled across the goal line.

Spurred by that goal we went on to exert more pressure on the opponents with relentless chance creation but the young Bullets were wasteful.

Just when it seemed like the tie would finish with the 1-0 scoreline, we conceded a penalty kick in the 83rd minute after Mapemba handled the ball while trying to clear a set piece.

Capitalizing on that huge chance, the captain of the side, Conel converted the spot kick to level the tie.

As the clock ran down, our youngsters looked for an instant response when Mapemba did well on the right wing to dispatch a low cross to Gift Lamowa who beautifully connected only to be denied by Abraham Mwandonga, who was alert to parry the ball over the bar at the near post.

Inside the three added minutes glorious chances fell for us but we were never ruthless enough to get the late winner and the tie had to be decided through spot kicks.

At the end of it all, the tie which our youngsters hugely dominated, they emerged 5-4 losers. Mussah Bwanali, who scored the winning penalty last week against Kawinga FC in the Aubrey Dimba Trophy final, was unfortunate as he missed on Sunday.

What it means

The quadruple chase is over for our youngsters but they now still have a chance to complete a treble as they remain in the ThumbsUp Southern Region Football League and Nyasa Capital Finance Cup knockout stages.

What the manager said

“We reached the penalty shootouts and we have lost; life must go on. Who watched the game, saw that we were a better team. We played better, we created so many chances and did not use them.

“We have lost, we must accept, go home and correct the mistakes. We are having a game on Wednesday; we must see what we will do,” reacted Chatama.

Next

Following Sunday’s disappointing result, Bullets Reserves will now shift their focus to the midweek fixture against Zingwangwa United in the quarter-finals of the Nyasa Capital Finance Cup at the Kamuzu Stadium on Wednesday afternoon.

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