Nyasa Big Bullets Reserves hammered Blantyre City 1-4 to reach the final of the 2021 ThumbsUp Southern Region Football Association (SRFA) League, 8-2 on aggregate, at Mpira Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Enos Chatama, who was certain of a place in the final after smashing City with the same margin in the first leg last weekend, made three changes to the side that won at Kamuzu Stadium, with Chikumbutso Salima, Frank Mulimanjala and Chimwemwe Yasin paving the way for Alex Tsamba, Macray Chiwaya and David Daudi.
The junior Bullets nearly conceded in the third minute when Brighton Gomani was found unmarked, but his header went wide to the relief of Chatama’s boys.
In the 20th minute, Patrick Mwaungulu saw his goal bound free kick well blocked by the hosts for a corner which had no impact as Blantyre City cleared the danger away from their defensive zone.
Mwaungulu was unlucky again minutes later as he saw his shot from close range swerving wide for a goal kick.
Bullets Reserves kept on pressurizing in search for an opening goal and it was in the 36th minute when they unlocked the hosts’ defence to break the deadlock through Mwaungulu’s beautiful finish.
A brilliant move from Tsamba to Stanley Billiat released Mwaungulu, who brilliantly rounded off three Blantyre City defenders before unleashing a thunderous grass cutting shot which was just too much for Squaber Chipala in goal for the hosts, 0-1.
However, the lead only lasted for sixty seconds as the hosts leveled from the spot through Gomani following a handball by White Kisten inside the six-yard box, 1-1.
The teams went to the dressing rooms at 1-all.
At half-time, Chatama brought in Frank Willard for Daudi whilst the hosts made two changes as Dan Dzinkambani and Chikondi Kandonje came on for Davie Nelio and Chimwemwe Dyton.
Bullets Reserves had another goal scoring opportunity in the 58th minute when Tsamba dribbled past Frank Nedi and made his way into the box before finding Billiat, who was unmarked and had only the goalkeeper to beat but his shot went over the crossbar.
Chatama made another change, bringing on board Mulimanjala for Chiwaya as he tried to improve his attacking options.
The newly-introduced substitute almost found the back of the net when he received the ball from Mwaungulu only to head over the bar to the disbelief of Chatama’s led technical panel.
But Bullets restored the lead in the 77th minute through Willard, who scored a stunning goal with a thunderous shot from almost 30 yards to beat Chipala, who was caught off guard in the line of duty, 1-2.
Two became three in an unprecedented manner when the referee awarded Bullets Reserves a penalty after Chipala brought down Mwaungulu inside the penalty box when he was found in a one on one situation.
Mwaungulu stepped up and slotted the ball past Chipala into the bottom corner, before Biliat netted the fourth goal.
Realizing that victory was almost certain, Bullets entertained their fans with their dribbling skills in the last ten minutes of the game.
Bullets Reserves will face Sable Farming in the final on 25th September at a venue to be announced by SRFA.
Reacting to the win, Chatama said he was very excited with the result as his side nears another SRFA League title.
“I advised the players to play according to the instructions and they did exactly that. I am very excited with the result and I am looking forward to our final match against Sable Farming,” reacted Chatama in a post-match interview.