Nyasa Big Bullets Reserves on Sunday won the Nyasa Capital Finance Cup to complete a treble.
The junior Bullets hammered The Boyz 0-3 in the final at Kamuzu Stadium.
It was a very difficult match for both teams in the first half as they struggled to adapt to the water-logged surface due to a heavy downpour just hours before kick-off.
But a brilliant second-half performance from Enos Chatama’s boys sealed the victory, with Patrick Mwaungulu, Chikumbutso Salima and Chimwemwe Yassin scoring in the final 20 minutes for the young Bullets to complete a treble this season.
The hosts were good at counter-attacking football in the opening minutes through Paul Phiri and Justice Mahilas, but Kesten Simbi’s led defence proved too difficult to break.
In the 28th minute, Anthony Phiri saw his long range effort from a free kick well saved by Clever Mkungula in between the sticks for Bullets Reserves.
At the other end, Emmanuel Savieli had a clear view of Yamikani Mafunga’s goal before releasing a thunderous shot which the goalkeeper rose to the occasion to produce a fantastic save.
Moments later, a cross from Patrick Mwaungulu in the 38th minute found Savieli, but the forward failed to connect home, allowing Mike Kalema to make a brilliant clearance.
Bullets Reserves kept on struggling to cope with the condition of the pitch throughout the remaining minutes of the half and the two teams went for recess at 0-0.
In the second half, Bullets Reserves upped their game after they introduced Chikumbutso Salima for Auspicious Kadzongola and saw them dominating possession as they attacked from all cylinders.
The hosts introduced Felix Botomani and Blessings Phiri for Frank Malingamoyo and Mahilasi.
In the 62nd minute, Mwaungulu’s goal was ruled out for offside.
The youngsters had another chance in the 67th minute when Salima’s shot was parried away by Mafunga for a corner kick, which had no impact as it was cleared by Kalema.
Despite the hosts’ resilience, Chatama’s side was able to break the deadlock in the 70th minute in brilliant fashion.
A stunning counter-hurricane attack from Billiat to Salima released Mwaungulu who sprinted past The Boyz’ midfielders before releasing a clacker outside the penalty box, too strong for Mafunga to stop, 1-0.
The lead should have only lasted for a few minutes after a brilliant exchange of passes between Aaron Chilipa and Phiri, who then found MacDonald Ajiba unmarked inside the penalty box, but he shot wide in unbelievable circumstances.
Chatama made another change in the 72nd minute when he brought in Chimwemwe Yassin for Franklin Mlimanjala to try to stabilize the midfield.
Mwaungulu should have doubled his tally in the 76th minute when his goal-bound shot was deflected for a corner by Mafunga, who was now the busiest of the two goalkeepers.
Mafunga could not do anything to stop Salima from doubling Bullets Reserves lead in the 80th minute with a fantastic header from Mwaungulu’s well taken corner kick, 0-2.
The young Bullets kept pressing for more goals and they nearly made it three when David Daud was found unmarked in the box only to send his header off Mafunga’s goal post from Salima’s cross.
Frank Willard and Sydney Chabulika were introduced in the 90th minute to replace Savieli and Billiat.
With three minutes added to the clock, the visitors made it three in a brilliant fashion.
A move by Salima to Mwaungulu released Yassin, who cheekily dribbled past three defenders before beating Mafunga to the bottom corner to finish off the game at 0-3.
Chatama hailed his boys for the win, but was quick to admit that his opponents gave his side a tough run, especially in the first half.
“We knew that they would come hard on us by packing the bus no wonder we failed to score [in the first half], but we had a game plan where we reserved some players, who, after being introduced in the second half changed the complexion of the game,” he said in a post-match interview.
“It’s good that we have won the cup in front of our fans after struggling in the opening half,” added Chatama, who has this season won the ThumbsUp Southern Region Football League, the Powertex Top 8 and now the Nyasa Capital Finance Cup.
The team is also in the semis of the Aubrey Dimba Trophy being played in Mchinji where it is expected to travel this coming weekend to face Kamuzu Barracks Youth. The winner will take on Silver Reserves, who beat Bright Stars of Mzuzu in the first semi-final on Sunday.