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Match preview: Bullets vs Soche | Castel Cup R32

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After successfully defending the TNM Super League championship on Sunday, FCB Nyasa Big Bullets have switched attention to the Castel Challenge Cup.

The People’s Team will welcome Soche Socials in the round of 32 stage at Kamuzu Stadium on Tuesday afternoon.

It is the first-ever meeting between Bullets and Soche and the fixture comes almost a month after we opened our account in this inaugural competition against another non-league side, Lipulumundu FC, from Mangochi.

The “David vs Goliath” nature of this upcoming encounter makes it a potential banana peel for the Malawi champions, who look to add another trophy to their cabinet, having already completed a double after winning the FDH Bank Cup in October and the 2023 TNM Super League two days ago.

It’s always tricky facing these unknown sides, but Kalisto Pasuwa’s men will go for the kill to maintain their domestic dominance.

However, it should not be a walkover as the hosts struggled to beat Lipulumundu 2-0 in the round of 64, with the first half finishing goalless and Thomson Magombo broke the deadlock in the 66th minute before Chawanangwa Gumbo completed the damage five minutes before the final whistle.

Current Form

The People’s Team successfully defended their crown in the league and they go into Tuesday’s match oozing with confidence.

Bullets were held 1-1 by Silver Strikers at home, but before this, they had two back-to-back victories in the Airtel Top 8 semi-finals and a 1-0 away win to Karonga United, a result that was very vital in their title defence.

Little is known about our opponents as this is the first time they are playing in an elite competition run by the Football Association of Malawi.

Soche Socials hammered Siyahamba FC 7-1 to book a place in the last 32 of the Castel Challenge Cup against the Malawi giants.

Head-to-Head 

Tuesday’s tie will be the first-ever meeting between the two teams and the first-ever visit to Kamuzu Stadium for our opponents.

Team News

Goalkeeper Richard Chimbamba will undergo a late fitness test after picking a knock during Sunday’s TNM Super League final match against Silver Strikers, while midfielders Lanjesi Nkhoma and Patrick Mwaungulu are among the squad members who are not available for selection.

What the coach said

“A very difficult game. A good example is when we played Lipulumundu, who gave us a torrid time. We had to score late in the second half for us to win. We have been talking to the boys to warn them about these unknown teams, hence the need to prepare ourselves very well because it won’t be easy for us to sail through.

“We have a few guys who played on Sunday and they haven’t recovered yet, so we will give other players who haven’t been active an opportunity to play and see how we can grind the results.”

How to follow the game

Our Castel Challenge Cup round of 32 tie against Soche Socials will kick off at 14h30 and action will be live on Mpira TV. Alternatively, you can catch all the match updates on our Facebook and Twitter channels.

Match officials

Referee: Shaibu Cassim

Assistant Referee 1: Happiness Mbandambanda

Assistant Referee 2: Sibusiso Sibande

Fourth Official: Happy Ng’ambi

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