Hassan Kajoke’s brace sends Bullets into last 16


Hassan Kajoke scored a brace of well-taken goals as FCB Nyasa Big Bullets moved into the last 16 of the FDH Bank Cup with a comfortable 4-0 win over Ndirande Stars at Kamuzu Stadium on Wednesday afternoon.

The People’s Team, the reigning champions of Malawi’ equivalent of the FA Cup, dominated the game more than the close scoreline suggest. The Ndirande based side made it an uncomfortable afternoon at times for the hosts but they lacked the finishing composure to unlock Kesten Simbi’s well led defense.

The People’s Team claimed the ascendancy as early as the 13th minute, with Thomson Magombo bursting past the defence inside the six-yard box before hitting the post from which Patrick Mwaungulu tapped in from the rebound, 1-0.

The match was slowly losing its touch following too many stoppages by referee Kesten Mnenula due to anti-football tactics from the visitors who were just kicking their opposition anyhow.

But this did not stop Bullets from playing their usual game and they should have doubled their lead in the 18th minute when Mwaungulu set through Phodo who opted to pass the ball to Hassan Kajoke instead of just shooting at goal as goalkeeper Hamidu Msopa was nowhere near his goal posts.

The People’s Team doubled the lead just before the half-hour mark when Phodo produced a simple finish following a mistake from Msopa, who failed to clear Gomezgani Chirwa’s long ball from a freekick, 2-0.

In the 33rd minute, Magombo was brought down inside the six-yard box by defender Moses Gunde, and a penalty was awarded to Bullets from which Kajoke stepped up to put the ball beyond Msopa’s reach, 3-0.

Kajoke was able to double his tally in the 36th minute when he connected well a pass from Mwaungulu inside the six-yard box, 4-0, and that was all for the half.

Pasuwa brought in Ephraim Kondowe and Precious Phiri for Kajoke and Magombo, a decision that was described as tactical by the tactician.

The visitors came out rejuvenated after the break and were able to pass the ball into the offensive zones, and it wasn’t surprising to see them registering their first effort at goal in the 47th minute when Richard Luciano’s shot was well saved by Mkungula, who was called into action for the first time in the match.

Kapuza’s charges had another attempt at goal in the 54th minute through Thokozani Mpinde, who was denied by Mkungula for a cornerkick, which was well cleared by Frank Willard.

The visitors were having more possession than how they struggled in the first half, but Bullets used experience to close them down in the wings where they mostly used it in order to advance into the final third.

Kapuza brought in Sholingah Stambuli for Anthony Phiri to try to improve his attacking prowess in front.

Kondowe failed to put the ball into the net when he was found in a one on one situation with the goalkeeper in the 67th minute of the match.

Moments later, he was at it again when he smartly won the ball from Gunde, but he wasn’t fast enough to pull the trigger and allowed the defender to recover before making a brilliant clearance.

Pasuwa made a triple substitution in the 75th minute when he brought Ernest Petro, Anthony Mfune, and Kenneth Pasuwa for Phodo, Gumbo and Collins Okumu.

Kondowe’s goal-bound shot was deflected for a cornerkick, which the visitors easily defended.

In the 78th minute, Precious Sambani made a brilliant run into the far left before sending a dangerous cross into the box which was missed by every red shirt, allowing Ndirande Stars to regroup and survive the scare.

With seven minutes left to play for, Daniel Nyambose replaced Justice Zulu for the visitors who nearly pulled on back in the 85th minute when Chirwa lost possession to Stambuli who failed to score with the goal wide open.

It was a better performance from the visitors but Bullets used experience to get the first half goals and progress to the round of 16 where they will play either Balaka FC or Chilumba Barracks who will play their match on Sunday at Balaka Stadium.

At Karonga Stadium, Kelvin Hang’anda and Chimwemwe Chisambi scored in the first half to inspire Kamuzu Barracks to a hard-fought 2-1 win over Karonga United to progress to the last 16.

The hosts scored their consolation goal through Josaya Duwa. The action continues on Thursday with another exciting fixtures across the country.

Mpondasi FC will play host to Mighty Mukuru Wanderers at Balaka Stadium whilst Mafco FC will welcome Ekwendeni Hardknockers at Chitowe Stadium.

At Bingu National Stadium, Silver Strikers will host Ntaja United in the final match of phase one of the prestigious cup.

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