Kenya-bound Nyasa Big Bullets on Friday became the first team to qualify for the semi-finals of the 2018 edition of the Fisd Challenge Cup when they thumped second-tier league side Chitipa United 5-0 at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre.
It was a perfect farewell for Bullets ahead of their trip to Nairobi, Kenya Saturday for their CAF Champions League preliminary round first leg tie against Gor Mahia on Wednesday.
And following the draw held on Friday, Bullets will now face winners between Silver Strikers and cup holders Kamuzu Barracks in the semis.
Bullets were two up in under 10 minutes through burly forward Chiukepo Msowoya’s brace.
The first came in the second minute when a Righteous Banda’s crisp pass found the joint TNM Super League leading scorer in the goal area to draw first blood.
MacFarlene Ngwira was the architect of the second goal when he found Chiukepo with a cross that oozed class which the latter headed home.
Ngwira made it 3-0 in the 67th minute to put Bullets in comfort zone going into recess.
The Simso Northern Region Football League leaders were swept side with contemptuous ease and never looked remotely capable of challenging their opponents. They did not even have an attempt at goal.
Bullets right back Pilirani Zonda made it 4-0 in the 66th minute before Bright ‘Bweke’ Munthali closed the score sheet eight minutes to full time with a header following substitute Fischer Kondowe’s cross.
Chitipa’s coach Robert Nziza attributed the loss to the first two goals, saying: “The first two goals came too early and we could not recover.”
Bullets team manager James Chilapondwa said their plan to score early worked perfectly.
This afternoon, Central Region Football Association (CRFA) Chipiku Premier League side Airborne Rangers face Be Forward Wanderers in another quarter-final match at the same venue and the winners will face winners between Blue Eagles and Moyale Barracks.
Rangers have since vowed to boot out the Nomads who were the first winners of the competition in 2016.
The Salima-based Malawi Defence Force (MDF) side’s coach Charles Banda believes his charges have all it takes to cause an upset.
Rangers ousted fellow lower league side Ipota FC in their away last 16 encounter with a 1-0 triumph and Banda said the story will be the same against the Nomads.
“We are coming to Blantyre to get Wanderers out of our way. We know they will come hard on us but the good thing is that anything is possible in the game of football. We are on a mission to get all the way to the finals and we will destroy any team that stands on our way,” he said.
But Wanderers team manager Stevie Madeira, whose side beat Dwangwa Town Hammers 3-0 on their way to the last-eight stage, on Friday said they cannot afford to lose a single match in the Fisd Cup.
“This Fisd Cup is the only remaining trophy that we have fixed our eyes on after failing to grab any silverware this season and we cannot let any team to disturb us,” he said.
The Nomads will be welcoming back their veteran midfielder Joseph Kamwendo who will be available for selection after serving his four-match ban for indiscipline.