Nyasa Big Bullets are through to the FDH Bank Cup quarter-finals after ousting Moyale Barracks 4-2 through post-match penalties in a thrilling round of 16 tie at a jam-packed Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre yesterday.
While Bullets were stretched to the limit by resilient Moyale who forced a 4-4 tie in normal time, their rivals Mighty Mukuru Wanderers had a bumper yield as they beat Dedza Dynamos Salima Sugar 3-0 through goals from Yamikani Chester, Vincent Nyangulu and Alfred Manyozo Jnr.
At Kamuzu Stadium, the goals were just plenty—eight of them scored in normal time, but not enough to decide the match.
Bullets’s Babatunde Adepoju netted the decisive spot-kick, but it was substitute goalkeeper Richard Chimbamba who was hero of the day after saving two penalties.
Moyale made the match lively as they thrice levelled the scores to cancel Bullets’ lead.
The first half alone produced five goals with Bullets leading 3-2
Bullets, with their first shot on target, took the lead in the ninth minute through striker Lanjesi Nkhoma who connected a cross from Chimwemwe Idana.
Midfielder Patrick Mwawungulu made it 2-0 in the 19th minute after he was fed by Babatunde.
Moyale coach Prichard Mwansa then pulled out goalkeeper Simeon Harawa for Jeremiah Simfukwe.
The Malawi Defence Force side did not give up and went on to pull one back in 35th minute through Gastin Simkomda who capitilised on poor defending.
Moyale then levelled the scores in the 40th minute through Lloyd Njaliwa, who headed in after catching the Bullets defence flat-footed.
But two minutes later, Precious Sambani restored Bullets’ lead after a pass from Mwaungulu for the first half to end 3-2.
Njaliwa levelled the scores again in the 50th minute after Chiyenda fumbled a harmless set-piece outside the area.
But more was yet to come. Referee Kondwani Kamwendo awarded Bullets a penalty after a Moyale defender handled a Mwaungulu free-kick.
Babatunde sent Simfukwe the wrong way in the 64th minute, much to the relief of Bullets supporters.
But the celebrations were cut short when Moyale’s Raphael Phiri levelled yet again, heading past a rooted Chiyenda.
It was now Bullets coach Kallisto Pasuwa’s turn to pull out Chiyenda for Chimbamba in anticipation of penalty shoot-outs.
The substitution proved effective as Chimbamba stopped Phiri and Brown Magaga’s spot-kicks.
Bullets’ Yamikani Fodya missed the opening penalty while Hassan Kajoke, Lanjesi, Idana and Babatunde converted theirs.
For Moyale, Simkonda and Black Alisen scored theirs.
Mwansa applauded his players for coming to Blantyre to compete.
“I must commend my boys. They played well and managed to score four goals and its just unfortunate that we lost through penalties.”
Bullets assistant coach Peter Mponda attributed poor defending to lack of coordination in central defence.