A five-star performance from Bullets as Eagles eliminate Silver Strikers in FDH Bank Cup 

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FCB Nyasa Big Bullets

Defending champions FCB Nyasa Big Bullets cruised into the next round of the FDH Bank Cup with a commanding 5-0 victory over Bangwe All Stars at Kamuzu Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Chikumbutso Salima and Patrick Mwaungulu bagged a brace each, and Babatunde Adepoju got his name on the scoresheet to send a statement of intent to would-be contenders in the prestigious club competition.

What happened

Kalisto Pasuwa handed Salima and Maxwell Phodo their first starts to his team after a lengthy absence due to injuries, while Friday Osagie, Sunganani Geoffrey and Elias Missi were all dropped to the bench by Rodgers Yasin.

FCB Nyasa Big Bullets

Salima had a chance in the 7th minute when he received a pass from goalkeeper Innocent Nyasulu, but the winger saw his weaker shot easily saved by Precious Mlotiwa.

Salima was very unfortunate not to make a breakthrough in the 15th minute when his powerful header hit the post from Patrick Mwaungulu’s well-taken corner kick.

The game was opening up for Pasuwa’s charges, and next to miss a golden opportunity was Chawanangwa Gumbo. The midfielder was found unmarked in the box, but he failed to put the ball into the net when his header missed Mlotiwa’s upright with an inch.

Bullets kept on knocking for the much-needed goal to ease the pressure, but twice, Mwaungulu lost possession in the final third when passing to Phodo was the easiest decision to make.

Pasuwa’s charges thought they had finally scored a goal in the 27th minute only to be denied by the second assistant referee’s flag for offside.

As Bullets attacked, they opened up at the back, and they nearly paid the price in the 41st minute when Nyasulu gave away the ball so cheaply to Aubrey Maloya, who spotted the goalkeeper off his line.

The winger wasted no time firing at goal only to be denied by the post, and from the rebound, Nyasulu made amends with a timely intervention to keep the game at 0-0.

Bullets’s last chance of the half came inside the additional minutes when Mwaungulu’s freekick found Salima unmarked. However, the winger headed over the crossbar, and that was all for the half.

After the recess, Pasuwa brought in Babatunde Adepoju and Blessings Mpokera for Kesten Simbi and Phodo to try to add more firepower in search of the much-needed opener.

It only took 7 minutes for the visitors to finally make a breakthrough. Substitute Geoffrey, who was introduced alongside Osagie for Bangwe, failed to tame the pace of Salima who made his way into the box before finding Mwaungulu who made a simple tap-in, beating Mlotiwa who was completely defenceless, 0-1.

The goal was a wake-up call to Rodgers Yasin’s men who, for the first time in the match, attacked with intent and they nearly levelled in the 55th minute when Beston Jimu fired wide after Bullets’ back-four was caught off-guard with a stunning counter-hurricane attack.

At this moment, it was a balanced affair. However, Bullets looked more dangerous in attack than their opponents who were struggling to outnumber Bullets in the midfield where Lloyd Aaron was dictating play for the defending champions.

Bullets doubled their lead in the 68th minute when our first scorer turned into a provider to assist Salima, who made a simple tap-in, similar to our first goal. Mwaungulu made his way into the box before spotting Salima, who needed a simple touch to beat Mlotiwa with an easy finish, 0-2.

Yasin brought in James Tambwali and James Msowoya for Shukulani Goba and Kumbukani Manto.

Bullets pushed for more goals, and they nearly got their third when Babatunde’s goal-bound shot was blocked for a setpiece, which was well defended by the hosts.

Pasuwa brought in Ernest Petro, Crispin Mapemba, and Mathews Masamba for Gumbo, Precious Sambani, and Lanjesi Nkhoma in the 74th minute.

At 77 minutes, Salima made an excellent run again before finding Babatunde unmarked in the penalty box, but the forward’s shot was well saved by Mlotiwa.

However, The People’s Team managed to score three goals in the last ten minutes of the match to humiliate their opponents.

The massacre started at 83 minutes when Mapemba and Babatunde combined well to release Salima, who was at the receiving end of a masterclass pass before slotting the ball into an empty net, 3-0.

At 87 minutes, it was 4-0. Mwaungulu was the architect of another simple tap-in when his pass found Babatunde unmarked. The forward had the easy task of ending his goal drought with a simple finish.

The fifth goal came from Mwaungulu, who fired a rocket to beat Mlotiwa inside the additional minutes to complete the riot.

The win takes the defending champions into the last 16 of the competition where they will either face Cobbe Barracks or Mighty Mukuru Wanderers.

At Silver Stadium, Innocent Shema missed his penalty to condemn Silver Strikers to a 5-3 defeat at the hands of Blue Eagles at Nankhaka Stadium. 

The regulation time ended 0-0.

The 2021 winners have, for the third time running, exited the cup on penalties after they lost to Dedza Dynamos and Moyale Barracks in the 2022 and 2023 seasons, respectively.

At Karonga Stadium, a brace from Emmanuel Mwalilino inspired Karonga United to a hard-fought 2-1 win over Mzuzu City Hammers to advance to the next round of the cup.

Wongani Lungu pulled one in the 58th minute but the visitors couldn’t force the game to penalties as the hosts held on to progress to Round 16.

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