Cup action continues for Bullets who have traveled to Lilongwe to face Silver Strikers in the quarterfinal of the FDH Bank Cup competition on Wednesday at Silver Stadium.
Three semi-final slots have already been decided, with the highly-anticipated encounter taking place belatedly due to Bullets’ engagement in the CECAFA Kagame Cup tournament which finished at the weekend in Tanzania where The People’s Team lost to Uganda’s Express FC in the final.
Wednesday’s clash will not be the first time Bullets and Silver meet in a cup competition, the latest being 2019 in the FISD Challenge Cup, which the Central Bankers won 4-3 in penalties following a 1-1 draw after regulation time.
The fixture takes place a little over two weeks since the hosts were beaten 2-1 at Kamuzu Stadium in a Super League match in which The People’s Team completely dominated.
However, Wednesday’s match will be a different one and a tough nut to crack.
Silver Strikers will need to bounce back from recent defeats in league matches whilst Bullets will be looking forward to transform their CECAFA Kagame Cup form into domestic competitions.
Kalisto Pasuwa’s side hasn’t done well in cup matches recently, with the last success in 2017 when they won the Carlsberg Cup under Eliah Kanaji at the expense of Be Forward Wanderers.
To reach this far, Bullets defeated Bullets Reserves 4-3 on penalties before a convincing 2-0 victory over Mighty Tigers in the last 16, whilst Silver Strikers registered a 2-0 victory over Moyale Barracks in the round of 16.
Before departing for Tanzania, Bullets were enjoying a good run of form in both league and cup matches.
At the start of the second-round of the 2021 TNM Super League campaign, Bullets is the only club which registered more wins (6) than any club.
Their resounding 2-1 victory over the Central Bankers a fortnight ago will also push the People’s Team to continue from where they stopped.
But that’s not the case with Silver Strikers who have now registered back to back defeats in the top flight.
The Area 47 side lost to Tigers this past weekend and they go into the match without a win in more than five league matches.
Pasuwa took a 26-member squad to Lilongwe, with only two players unavailable from the squad that arrived on Sunday from Tanzania. Chikepo Msowoya is yet to return from Karonga where he went to attend the burial of his mother who passed on last Friday.
Babatunde Adepoju is missing as he is ineligible to play in domestic competitions following his move from Wanderers as a free agent after the local transfer window had already closed.
Another player still missing is Mischeck Seleman who is still in isolation after testing positive for Covid-19 a fortnight ago, but the good news is that his former teammate at Karonga United, Anthony Mfune, who completed his move to Bullets a couple of weeks ago, is also part of the squad.
Pasuwa’s pre-match interview
The Bullets head coach is back in charge following his return from isolation.
Speaking to club media on Tuesday afternoon in Lilongwe, is what he said about tomorrow’s game.
“We haven’t been doing well in Cup matches, but we cannot dwell much on history because this is a new game and the best team will win. As Bullets, we are not under any sort of pressure. We always try as much as we can to plan so that the approach should be good this time around.”
Kick-off is 2:30pm and the match will be live on Mibawa Television and Mpira TV.