Bullets into FDH Bank Cup last eight

Nyasa Big Bullets is a football team which competes in the Super League of Malawi

A first-half strike from Patrick Mwaungulu and two second-half goals from Nickson Nyasulu and Hassan Kajoke inspired FCB Nyasa Big Bullets to a comfortable 3-0 win over non-league Balaka FC at Balaka Stadium to progress to this year’s FDH Bank Cup quarterfinals.

What happened

From the onset, the visitors were in total control of the proceedings as they passed the ball at will, but to make a breakthrough proved to be a very difficult task for them as they met a resilient defensive back-four of Didra Hussein, Howard Banda, Chikumbutso Makoloni and Anthony Manda.

The first chance of the match saw Hassan Kajoke clearing a shooting space for himself in the 18-yard box, but his goal-bound shot was blocked by Manda.

Within the shortest period of time, Pasuwa’s charges had three attempts at goal all cleared by either Hassan Muhammad in goals for the hosts or the defense which was defending in numbers to frustrate the visiting team.

Kajoke was at the receiving end of Alick Lungu’s brilliant cross from the left with his powerful header, which was well saved by Muhammad for a cornerkick, which the visitors easily defended.

The pressure was mounting on the visitors, with Bullets pressing from all angles in search of the much needed opening goal, but every threat was well dealt with by the defenders.

However, the hosts’ resilience was put to halt by Mwaungulu’s goal in the 31st minute, connecting well from a Precious Phiri’s beautiful pass into the six-yard box, 0-1
Pasuwa made his first change when he brought in Ephraim Kondowe for Anthony Mfune to try to increase the firepower in search of more goals.

In the 40th minute, Muhammad was called into action again to deny Phiri, who produced a thunderous shot outside the penalty box for a cornerkick, which made no difference as the visitors cleared the ball away from their area.

With 45 minutes played, Phiri once again combined well with Chawanangwa Gumbo to release Mwaungulu, who nearly doubled his tally, but his volley inside the penalty box went over the crossbar for a goalkick and that was all for the half.

In the final half, Pasuwa suffered a blow when Yamikani Fodya, who, for the third time in a row, played in defense, sustained a knee injury, and he was replaced by Nyasulu.

It was a slow start to the half from Bullets, perhaps being hit hard by the hot weather which was experienced in Balaka District.

The hosts had an opportunity to produce something extraordinary in the 48th minute when Lungu brought down Emmanuel Lifa on the edge of the penalty box, but the freekick went over the crossbar, wasted by Goodson Shonga.

Fifty two minutes on the clock, Kajoke saw his goal ruled out for offside by first assistant referee, Tamandani Sengani.

But, The People’s Team was able to double their advantage in the 61st minute through Nyasulu.

Mwaungulu turned from a scorer to a provider when his well taken freekick found Nyasulu, who made a first-time connection to beat Muhammad into the bottom corner, 0-2.

Victor Dickson, Innocent Kaliyati, and Frank Humba replaced Shonga, Biskot Bakali, and Hussein whilst Stanley Billiat and Precious Sambani came in for Nkhoma, and Frank Willard in the 65th minute.
Kajoke should have had a goal in the 67th minute when he received a pass from Kondowe but his thunderous shot missed Muhammad’s goal post with an inch.

Kajoke was again denied an opportunity to register his name on the scoresheet when his goal was, for the second time running, ruled out for offside.

But his time eventually came in the 77th minute when he made a simple tap in from a Billiat’s flick after the two players beat the offside trap to put the game beyond the hosts’ reach, 0-3.

There was one change made by Bullets in the 85th minute when Eric Kaonga replaced Lungu. It was now time for the defending champions to dance with the ball around as the quarter-final slot was officially confirmed for the third time running since its inspection some few years ago.

Balaka FC brought in Rafick Kabwazi and Joseph Msiska for Blessings Mwawa and Buba Jack but it was too late as Bullets walked out of the small facility with a victory to progress to the last eight of the prestigious club competition.

They join Mafco FC who beat Blue Eagles 5-3 on penalties on Thursday after the regulation time ended 2-2 and Moyale Barracks who eliminated the 2020/21 winners, Silver Strikers 10-9 on post match penalties as well following a 1-1 result in the normal time.