For a third successive year, penalties settled the Carlsberg Cup final but this time it is Masters Security who have won it at the expense of cup favorites Be Forward Wanderers.
Saturday afternoon’s final proved to be a pulsating encounter in which both teams certainly played their part, with Wanderers dominating the first half before being overpowered by Masters Security in the second half.
It was the Nomads who carried the greater fluency and threat in their attacking play no wonder they got the opener just a minute after kicking off through Precious Sambani following a defensive relapse from Masters, 1-0.
Wanderers looked the sharper outfit, hungrier to win back ball possession while looking sharp and incisive on attack through Isaac Kaliyati, Joseph Kamwendo, Yamikani Chester and Sambani.
The Nomads should have added the second goal through Esau Kanyenda who was found unmarked by Kamwendo but the former Jomo Cosmos and Dwangwa United forward was denied by Bester Phiri in goals for the rookies.
While the Nomads were to enjoy some good spells of possession, the Lilongwe based side looked more threatening in attack through Babatunde Adebayo, Juma Yatina and Vincent Nyangulu.
Nomads goalkeeper Nenani Juwaya had to be brave to fling himself in front of Yatina after Nomads defence was caught sleeping in the line of duty.
Wanderers were again close to adding a second just before half-time, but Kanyenda’s header flashed inches wide of the far post.
In the second half, it was Masters Security who came up with a perfect plan with their passing game but finding the back of the net proved futile as Peter Cholopi, Bongani Kaipa, Stanley Sanudi and Sambani protected Juwaya from any form of assault from the rookies.
The visitors had the first chance when Yatina’s lob from an audacious angle was tipped over the bar by Juwaya.
Yatina, Adeboye, Francis Nkonda along with Nyangulu were causing all kinds of problems for the Blantyre based side’s defence and there were a couple of occasions when some lovely interplay came close to leveling the scoreline but once again, Juwaya rescued the Nomads.
Chances then followed at the other end as Rafick Namwera, who came in for Kamwendo, set up Kaliyati whose snap volley narrowly missed before Manyozo squandered a great chance after heading a 72nd minute header over the bar.
And Masters Security had their reward in the 85th minute when substitute Sammy Phiri scored from close range following commotion in Wanderers’ defence, 1-1.
There were some anxious late moments for Masters Security as Wanderers threw everything into attack in the closing stages of the match though the Lilongwe based side held on to go into penalties.
Manyozo missed his spot kick to send Masters Security into a massive celebration as they won the match 5-4.
This was Wanderers’ second successive Carlsberg Cup loss through penalties.
In 2017, Wanderers lost 5-4 to rivals Nyasa Big Bullets at Bingu National Stadium.
As for Masters Security, they have made history by becoming the first team to win the trophy by winning all their three matches through penalties, starting with their quarterfinal win over Mzuni FC before beating Bullets on penalties in the semifinals a fortnight ago.