It was an afternoon when boys were separated from men as swashbuckling Big Bullets brought Zomba United’s fairy-tale run in the Carlsberg Cup to a heart-breaking end today.
A goal in each half saw Bullets clinch the Carlsberg Cup.
The last time Bullets won a cup final at Kamuzu Stadium was in 2002 when they came from two goals down to level the scores against MDC United in the Embassy Trophy and then went on to win the silverware through the dreaded penalty shoot-out.
In 2008, they came close, but lost to Moyale via a penalty shootout in the finals of the Standard Bank Cup.
And today, they ended the lengthy wait by seeing off the Zomba-based outfit.
Zomba City mayor Joana Ntaja was there, but her beauty and presence were not enough to inspire United and in the end, it was his Blantyre City counterpart Noel Chalamanda who was smiling.
Bullets drew first blood after 30 minutes when Victor Limbani swung upfield to head home Fischer Kondowe’s fabulous corner-kick.
The People’s Team dominated proceedings in the second-half, passing the ball around gently, so sweet to the eye as Zomba danced to their tune.
Zomba were dealt a body blow when their match-maker Charles Kalaile suffered a knee injury and had to be taken off stage, rendering their talisman Precious Msosa, who prior to that appeared a thorn to Bullets defence, useless.
Then just six into this half, Mussa Manyenje put Bullets in the comfort zone and it was over and done with.
Zomba’s cause was further worsened when Stanely Duwe was shown the red card after a second bookable offence.
Bullets coach Elia Kananji paid tribute to his charges for playing according to instructions.
“Zomba United played their game on the radio and in newspapers, we did it where it’s supposed to be done.
“We thank God that we have won this cup,” said Kananji.
His United counterpart Alinafe Noel Gobede swallowed his pride and accepted defeat.
“Bullets deserved to win. We lost mainly due to stage fright,” said Gobede, who all along insisted his team would carry the day.
Bullets got the ultimate K9 million ($24 000) prize plus the trophy while Zomba got a K4 million ($11000) runners-up prize as their consolation.