Out of the Presidential Cup and out of the Carlsberg Cup. The wobbly season continues for Silver Strikers but for Big Bullets, there is some respite, thanks to Dalitso Sailesi’s solitary strike.
The Bullets rubbed salt on Silver’s festering wounds, beating them 1-0 at a tense Kamuzu Stadium on Saturday to date Kamuzu Barracks in the 2013 Carlsberg Cup quarter-final.
While Silver interim coach Stain Chirwa had a bad start, for Bullets coach Eddington Ng’onamo, the win was a reward for a gamble in dropping from the team captain Fischer Kondowe and Heston Munthali.
“It does not mean that the dropped players are bad. We do feature players on merit in respect of their performance in training. You will see them back,” said Ng’onamo, who was last week accused to sticking to most veteran players.
Ng’onamo even rested Gabadinho Mhango for Brown Mizeye in the late stages of the boring match of few openings and interrupted passes. It was not worth the money.
Nonetheless, Sailesi settled matters on the 26th minute when he got to the end of Mhango’s mazy run, eluded a defender and shot against him to deflect the ball wide to the right of diving Silver custodian Charles Swini.
Save for the goal, the game was lifeless in the first half. Silver, minus suspended striker Rodrick Gonani and winger Dave Moya, made a false start after break but they lacked penetration and precision to trouble a Bullets defence that reverted to conventional four with Chiku Kanyenda restored.
After break, it could have been worse had Swini who was busier of the two goalkeepers, had not punched Kanyenda’s powerful long range dipping shot on the break. Otherwise, Bullets defence stood firm while James Chilapondwa proved that is but a number.
For Chirwa, who replaced suspended Frank ‘Franco’ Ndawa, it was more about bad luck that a bad performance. Yet deep down his heart he knows that the likes of Taonga Chawanangwa did little upfront.
Bullets now date Kamuzu Barracks. This after the Lilongwe soldiers dumped out defending champions Blue Eagles with a 4-3 win at Dedza Stadium also on Saturday, courtesy of Harvey Nkacha hat-trick and Ben Hojani goal.
In Mzuzu Stadium, Moyale Barracks thumped Kabwafu 3-0 whereas Mponela United edged Mzuni 4-3 at Silver Stadium. Moyale await the winner of Mafco versus Azam Tigers game while Mponela will meet either Blantyre United or Civo United.