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Bullets U19s defend African Herbal Mixture Cup

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FCB Nyasa Big Bullets Under 19s successfully defended their African Herbal Mixture Cup title with a 2-0 victory over Manchester Motors at Kamuzu Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Following a goalless opening period, the pulsating final was decided in the final half through substitute Martin Adam and Maxwell Sakanamba to win the new Bullets Youth coaching panel led by Yamikani Fodya their first silverware.

What happened

A late kick-off following a third-place tie between Young Stars and Izo Izo, the final started with both teams displaying nerves, struggling to find their rhythm.

Aiming to clinch the cup for a second successive year, young Bullets had more possession, but Manchester Motors defence held firm.

Peter Likwangulo came close for Yamikani Fodya and Chimango Kayira’s boys, unfortunately, the visitors defended the number 9’s backheel connection from Misheck Billiat’s pass to deny our youngsters from breaking the deadlock.

Despite creating a few half-chances, neither team could find the breakthrough, for the score to remain goalless at the break.

Bullets made a double substitution at the start of the second half, introducing Martin Adam and Precious Kambanga to add pace and creativity.

This change paid off immediately as Billiat’s corner kick in the 59th minute found the head of Adam, who pounced from close range as Maxwell Duwe’s boys failed to keep the ball away from danger, 1-0.

That goal ignited fire as the visitors quickly looked to catch our youngsters on counters, forcing them to commit fouls in their defensive zone.

Dan Matamula made two fantastic saves after the hour mark to deny Manchester Motors from levelling the scores.

Bullets reclaimed possession and settled very well as they knocked the ball around and continued to press. The substitutions proved to be the turning point in the game as Adam and Kambanga added pace and creativity to our attack, which had been lacking in the first half.

Manchester Motors struggled to cope with the fresh legs and new attacking threats and our dominance was rewarded in the 72nd minute.

From a scorer, substitute Adam became a provider when he released Sakanamba on the left to launch a counter-attack and the left-footed midfielder buried the game with a beauty, 2-0.

Our side made two more substitutions as Antony Senaji and Charles Kasalanga came on for Heinz Manganyera and Maxwell Sakanamba, as we looked to manage the game. At the end of the final whistle, the young Bullets defended their trophy.

What it means

The result means our U19s’ dominance of the African Herbal Mixture Cup continues after they won the trophy in its inaugural edition last season, beating rivals Mighty Wanderers Youth.

Individual Awards

Dominic Kayamba was voted the Man of the Match after a dominant performance in the final. At the same time, Misheck Billiat won Player of the Tournament and Martin Adam is the 2024 African Herbal Mixture Cup top scorer with six goals.

Reaction

After the game coach Fodya said it was a good game and congratulated the young lads for the win.

“I’m incredibly proud of the team. We defended our title with style and determination, and we took control of the game in the second half.”

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