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Bullets beat Silver to win Kamuzu Cup

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A second-half strike from Henry Kabichi helped FCB Nyasa Big Bullets lift the Kamuzu Cup following a 1-0 victory over Silver Strikers at Civo Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

The match, played for a limited time of 50 minutes, was part of Kamuzu Day, commemorating Malawi’s first President, Dr Hastings Kamuzu Banda.

It was a game that lived up to its billing as the two teams gave everything in front of the current Head of State Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera and thousands of Malawians who filled Civo Stadium to its full capacity.

The two teams made wholesome changes to their squads by giving chances to fringe players and those that have just recovered from injuries.

The first half belonged to Silver Strikers who had mastered playing on the dry surface quicker than the visitors.

But despite dominating the opening period, the Central Bankers failed to register even a single shot at goal as the John Lanjesi-led defence, featuring Yamikani Fodya, Nickson Nyasulu and Gomezgani Chirwa, used its experience to halt every threat posed by Chinsinsi Maonga, Uchizi Vunga and Tatenda M’balaka.

At the other end, the visitors also had a share of ball possession through Chawanangwa Gumbo, Kabichi, Precious Sambani and Anthony Mfune but breaking down a Chisomo Mpachika-led back-four proved to be a huge task for the men in red and the first half ended goalless.

In the second half, Bullets only needed a minute to make a breakthrough.

Mpachika had cleared Kenneth Pasuwa’s well-taken corner kick, but the ball landed straight at Kabichi, who was calm before releasing a left-footed drive into the back of the net beating Pilirani Mapira, 0-1.

Bullets were pressing for the second goal and they should have had another one three minutes later when Sambani’s long-range shot missed Mapira’s upright with just an inch.

At the other end, Rodwell Robert was set through by Vunga but the forward’s attempt was easily saved by Clever Mkungula.

Pasuwa brought on Righteous Banda and Yankho Singo for Chinedu Okafor and Gumbo to try to neutralize the Bankers’ midfield.

Mkungula was called into action again in the 42nd minute when he used his height advantage to take charge of a very dangerous cross from Maonga which was bound to find Rodwell, who placed himself within shooting range inside the six-yard area.

The clock was ticking very fast for Pieter de Jongh’s charges and favourable for Pasuwa who was just waiting for the final whistle.

With a minute added to the clock, Bullets players successfully managed the game and walked out of a fully packed Civo Stadium with the Kamuzu Cup.

Speaking to Bullets Media soon after the match, Pasuwa said much as the two teams did not play the usual 90 minutes, he was satisfied with how his charges performed especially those that were coming from injuries.

“It was a good game altogether even though we only played for 50 minutes but you could see the intensity from my boys. I was not focusing on results but on the performance of my players, especially those that have just recovered from injuries, they fared very well and I am hoping to get more from them in the entire season,” reacted the Head Coach.

The People’s Team will return to Lilongwe this coming weekend for the TNM Super League tie against Civil Service United at Civo Stadium on Sunday.

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