Nyasa Big Bullets beat Blue Eagles 7-8 in post-match penalties yesterday at Civo Stadium in Lilongwe to wing into the Fisd Challenge Cup semi-finals and set up a clash with either Moyale Barracks or Umodzi FC.
The regulation time ended goalless and as per rules, the match went straight into a shoot-out.
Eagles’ Semu Banda was the villain as his penalty was saved by substitute goalkeeper Ernest Kakhobwe when all his seven team-mates had converted.
The defender was in tears after the missed spot-kick and team-mates surrounded him trying to comfort him.
On the other hand, the victory sent Bullets faithful into delirium as they turned the stadium into a theatre of celebrations.
Eagles netted their spot-kicks through Gilbert Chirwa, Vitumbiko Kumwenda, Maxwell Salambula, Gregory Nachipo, Mecium Mhone, Alupheous Nyoni and Oswald Maonga.
Bullets scorers were Chiukepo Msowoya, Jimmy Zakazaka, Pilirani Zonda, Emmanuel Zoya, Mussa Manyenje, John Lanjesi, Fischer Kondowe and Chimango Kayira.
Eagles coach Christopher Sibale rung significant changes as he benched regulars. Captain Mecium Mhone and their top scorer Mphatso Phillimon did not have places in the starting 11.
Bullets best chance in the early exchanges landed on veteran winger Fischer Kondowe but his headed connection from a Mussa Manyenje cross narrowly skied over the crossbar.
Bullets were more adventurous in the second half and could have taken the lead when Chiukepo Msowoya was set clear on goal but he smashed his shot against the upright.
The cops responded with their own attacking initiative which ended with Gregory Nachipo firing a low hard shot which Bullets goalkeeper Rabson Chiyenda brilliantly kept out.
Mhone was introduced as a second-half substitute, replacing Chisomo Chilasa in a bid to strengthen the striking force.
Bullets also substituted playmaker Mike Mkwate and striker Muhammad Sulumba for forward Jimmy Zakazaka and Brighton Munthali, respectively.
In the closing stages, Mhone volleyed over the bar from close range while Munthali did likewise on the other end.
Bullets strikers’ trainer Heston Munthali described the match as tough, but was optimistic that his side can reach the finals.
Eagles coach Sibale said his side could have won the match if they were clinical upfront.
“Penalties are always tricky. We missed some good chances but I am proud of my players,” he said. n