malawi bulletin

By Nganati

FCB Nyasa Big Bullets have survived Civil Service United’s scare as they reached the semi-finals of the Airtel Top 8 Cup Season Six after a 3-2 win on aggregate.

The people’s team suffered their second defeat of the season at Kamuzu Stadium on Saturday afternoon as fully charged Civil topped the proceedings in all the departments.

The Servants have managed to beat FCB Nyasa Big Bullets in Cup games at Kamuzu Stadium twice in cup games as they were pulled the winner in 2015.

Maxwell Gastin Phodo scored the fastest goal of the tournament after connecting home Erik Kaonga’s corner-kick but Civil came out of the slumber to pull a shocker from behind.

Bullets, according to the draw conducted by the Football Association of Malawi at halftime Blue Eagles while the winner between Silver Strikers and Mighty Mukuru Wanderers will face Mafco FC.

FCB Nyasa Big Bullets attributed their defeat and struggle to Civil Service United to the congested fixtures which has trimmed their squad.

Going into the game, Kalisto Pasuwa had to make several chances as seven of his key players were out of the matchday squad. Clyde Senaji, and Patrick Mwaungulu picked knocks during the team’s 2-0 win over Chitipa United while Stanley Billiati and Ephraim Kondowe were added to the injury list after picking knocks during the team’s 3-2 win over Kamuzu Barracks.

Richard Chimbamba was planted in goals with only Gomezgan Chirwa and Clyde Senaji keeping their places in back-four as Erik Kaonga and Nixon Nyasulu replaced Yamikani Fodya and Precious Sambani.

The people’s team were off to a flying start with Maxwell Phodo scoring his second goal of the competition. Erik Kaonga whipped in the ball and Phodo was equally clever to put the ball beyond the reach of Tione Tembo.

Kalisto Pasuwa was delt with a heavy blow when his captain of the day, Gomezgan Chirwa limped off injured just 15 minutes into the game and MacFarlane Mgwira was called into action with Precious Phiri shifted to defensive duty.

A little pressure that they piled towards the end of the first half produced nothing tangible. Hassan Kajoke nearly grabbed his second goal of the competition but his effort swerved past Tione Tembo after pouncing on Kaonga’s ball.

Earlier in the second half, Bullets tried to force things but Erik Kaonga’s arrow was saved by Tembo.

In a flash, Civil were ahead. Innocent Tanganyika fed Ngapemba with a good ball and the towering striker headed the ball home beating Chimbamba.

Bullets survived in the last minutes of the game as Civil were pushing for a goal. They will return to actions this midweek in the Castel Challenge Cup before playing the much-anticipated Blantyre Derby against Mighty Mukuru Wanderers.

The way they executed their game plan deserves more than just a win. Civil Service United will just scratch their head as to how they lost the first leg 2-0 at home weeks ago.

With Benega Aaron playing as a deep midfielder holding the team, Moses Banda ahead of him, Civil Service United took the game from Bullets.

Despite conceding an early goal, Civil woke up from their slumber to pull an equalizer. Luke Chima charged into the penalty area and Benega made no mistake to calmly send Chimbamba the wrong way.

The win energized the visitors and they were enjoying it as if they were at home. The Servants have now scored five goals in their last three visits to Kamuzu Stadium. Bullets had to come from behind to win 3-2 in the second round of the super league.

A goal in the second half came deservedly. They pushed for so long before Ngapemba capitalized on Bullets’ weaknesses of failing to deal with crosses as he thundered home Innocent Tanganyika’s cross.

They are going home after a defeat but that could be their turning point as they are hunting for super league survival. They will have to work on their finishing aspect of the game.

Civil Service United were pushing for the third goal in the late stages of the game and Lloyd Aaron was unfortunate to rifle his shot from close range over the bar while Innocent Tanganyika was too heavy to put the ball into the net after Bullets’ Defence caught napping.

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