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Match report: Bullets Reserves 1-2 Zingwangwa (Agg 2-3)

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FCB Nyasa Big Bullets Reserves surrendered the ThumbsUp Southern Region Football League title following their 2-1 home defeat and 3-2 on aggregate to Zingwangwa United on a rainy Sunday afternoon at Kamuzu Stadium.

The visitors scored in the opening half through Chikondi Mbeta. Early in the second half Francis Malikebu scored a beauty for an equalizer but late in the tie, Mwayi Banda won it for Zingwangwa.

What happened

There was no time for opponent reading for the two sides who were meeting for the fourth time this season as Zingwangwa got in front quite early in the quarter-final second-leg tie.

Set through by his captain Banda, Mbeta took a touch before guiding the ball into the net, beating Austin Chirambo at the near post to make it 1-0 three minutes from the start.

Soon after the visitors went ahead, there was a heavy downpour which left the Kamuzu Stadium drenched, making the passing game almost impossible for both sides.

We had a chance to pull one back in the 19th minute when Limbani Kutambe sent a searching cross into the area but the unmarked Oscar Petro headed it over the crossbar.

A few minutes later Chrispin Mapemba broke the visitors’ defence with his pace and did well to cut a pass inside but Malikebu failed to make a proper contact of the ball.

Zingwangwa United would later come knocking at our door in pursuit of another goal but the first half could only end with the scoreline 1-0.

Just like the visitors in the opening half, our youngsters made a great start to the final half.  Four minutes after the restart we got our equalizer through Malikebu, who from far out unleashed a wild strike which went past the visiting goalie Aubrey Hamilton.

Corazo Banda could have doubled the visitors’ lead but his effort with a decent curler hit the post before we cleared the ball away.

Towards the end of the final half, contrary to the run of play, the visitors were back in front in the 37th minute through their captain following a scramble for the ball inside the area.

Knowing there was little time left on the clock, Zingwangwa then dropped deep in bunches and did well to contain our late attacks until the referee closed the match, 2-1 it finished.

What it means

The result means that Bullets Reserves have surrendered their Southern Region Football League title defence to finish the season with only one silverware, the 2023 Aubrey Dimba Trophy.

Nonetheless, our youngsters may still have a chance of progressing to the semis having played Sunday’s game under protest following the discovery that Zingwangwa United have been using three suspended players.

In comparison to the past five years, this season has been the most indifferent one to our reserves who quite used to be all-conquerors in their division.

Chatama post Zingwangwa United

“It was one of those best games, we played good football only that we conceded early in the game. We lost concentration but as the game progressed, we picked up and created so many chances but failed to utilize those chances.

“There was rain, and there was a long break during the recess which affected the performance of the team. Come in the second half we fought every inch of the game and the boys were ready to fight but, in the end, we conceded a silly goal.

“The future of the team looks good; we are playing against teams who are just fighting. We believe we have potential which can be unlocked and help the nation in the future,” reacted Chatama.

Next

Should Zingwangwa be found guilty of fielding three suspended players in both legs against us, it is more likely that Bullets Reserves will proceed to play the Mulanje-based Fomo FC in the semis next week. Otherwise, the result on Sunday marks the very end of the season for our youngsters.

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