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Match preview: Bangwe v Bullets | FDH Bank Cup

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We start our FDH Bank Cup title defence against Bangwe All Stars at Kamuzu Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

This encounter is our first knock-out competition this season, having played 11 games in the TNM Super League.

It is also Bullets’ first-ever meeting against Bangwe in a cup game, having played them twice in league matches since they earned promotion in 2022.

FORM GUIDE

Kalisto Pasuwa’s men have had a tough start to the TNM Super League title defence since 2017 as we have dropped more points, having registered seven draws, three wins and one loss, sitting 13 points behind the current log leaders, Silver Strikers.

Our latest draw saw us playing three games without a victory. We last registered our last win on 18 May against Mzuzu City Hammers, followed by a defeat against Silver and two back-to-back draws against Creck Sporting Club and Kamuzu Barracks.

As for our opposition, they are also struggling in the league, sitting in the bottom three with seven points from 11 games.

Their last game in the league saw them lose 2-0 away to Baka City at Karonga Stadium.

HOW BANGWE HAVE PERFORMED IN THE FDH BANK CUP

Bangwe’s first-ever appearance in the competition saw them reaching the quarterfinals after they eliminated Civil Service United through a lone strike from their former winger, Robert Saizi, who is now with Zanaco FC in Zambia.

However, they couldn’t advance to the semis following a 5-4 penalty shootout loss to Mafco FC. Defender Yamikani Mologeni, who was on loan from Bullets, saw his spot kick stopped by Christopher Mikuwa.

OUR PERFORMANCE IN THIS COMPETITION

We are the most successful team in the FDH Bank Cup after winning it twice since its launch in the 2021 season.

In the inaugural year, we defeated our reserves 5-4 on penalties in the Round of 32 following a 1-all draw in regulation time. We then eliminated Mighty Tigers, beating them 2-0 to set a quarterfinal showdown against Silver in Lilongwe.

The quarterfinal tie ended 4-2 on penalties in favour of the Central Bankers following a 2-2 draw after 90 minutes.

In the 2022 season, Bullets started their campaign with a 3-1 win over Sable Farming at Mulanje Park.

Our next opponents in the Round of 16 were Moyale Barracks at Kamuzu Stadium. This was a match and half as Bullets, on three occasions, gave away a lead to draw 4-4. The game had to be decided on penalties and Pasuwa’s men won 4-2 to book a quarterfinal tie away to Chitipa United.

Bullets disposed of their opponents, beating them 2-0 to set a clash against our cross-town rivals, Mighty Mukuru Wanderers at Bingu National Stadium.

This was a day we showed our neighbours no mercy as we hammered them 4-0 to advance to the final of the cup for the first time in its second edition.

Our opponents were Bullets Reserves. The first half ended 1-all but the senior team showed their dominance by scoring two quick second-half goals to beat the young Bullets 3-1 to win the cup.

In the 2023 season, we opened our title defence with a home tie against Ndirande Stars. The match ended 4-0 as we advanced to the Round of 16 of the competition.

At this stage, Bullets beat Balaka FC 3-0 to reach the last eight which saw Pasuwa’s men travelling to Lilongwe to face Extreme FC at Civo Stadium where we had to come from behind in the final minute of the match to draw 1-all before sealing the victory through penalties, winning 4-2 to set up a semifinal clash against Dedza Dynamos at Kamuzu Stadium.

The semifinal tie ended 5-1 in favour of Bullets who, for the second time in a row, made it to the final of the cup.

Our final opposition was Mafco FC at the Bingu National Stadium where the defending champions wasted no time to score two quick first-half goals before completing our mission with a third goal in the final period to beat the Salima-based soldiers 3-0 to retain the cup.

HEAD-TO-HEAD

This will be the third meeting between Bullets and Bangwe in a cup competition.

We met Ma Stars in the first round of the 2023 TNM Super League campaign at Mpira Stadium where we recorded a 2-0 victory. In the reverse fixture, a late strike from Patrick Mwaungulu secured all three points for Pasuwa’s charges as they were fighting to retain the league title.

TEAM NEWS

Precious Phiri is out of the action after joining the injury list due to a swollen ankle. Pasuwa has the rest of the players he travelled with to Lilongwe for the KB tie available for selection this afternoon.

KICK-OFF TIME AND HOW TO WATCH THE MATCH

The game is scheduled for 14h30 and you can catch all the action on Mpira TV and live streaming is available on FIFA+. You can also catch all the match updates on our Facebook and X (Twitter) channels.

MATCH OFFICIALS

Zebron Lengani will be in charge of our FDH Bank Cup Round of 32 match against Bangwe All Stars at Kamuzu Stadium.

Referee: Zebron Lengani

Assistant Referee 1: Sibusiso Sibande

Assistant Referee 2: Symon Rajab

Fourth Official: Mwayi Msungama

Match Assessor: Paul Mhango

Match Commissioner: Patrick Mbalati

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