It took diminutive forward Diverson Mlozi just three minutes after being introduced as a second-half substitute against Moyale Barracks FC to strike the priceless goal which inspired Big Bullets to the semi-finals of the 2015 Standard Bank Cup at Civo Stadium in Lilongwe yesterday.
The People’s Team will meet Civo United in the semis.
Mlozi, who came in for Burundian new-signing Nikiza Aimable, took advantage of a defensive lapse to ghost in and score the lone goal of the match in the 56th minute.
It was a tactical substitution for Bullets that paid off as Aimable struggled to make the grade.
The goal was a timely relief for Bullets fans who had seen their team play second fiddle to Moyale for long durations of the first-half.
Another Blantyre derby final involving age-old rivals—Bullets and Mighty Be Forward Wanderers—could be on the cards if they win their semi-final matches against Civo and Blue Eagles respectively.
Moyale were the dominant side in the first-half playing organised and attacking football that had Bullets retreating.
Mtopijo Njewa for Moyale could have put his side ahead five minutes into the match with a well-curled free kick which was just parried in time by Bullets goaltender Chimwemwe Kumkwawa.
Khuda Muyawa and Crispin Fukizi also had opportunities to give Moyale the lead in the first-half, but were not composed enough to find the net.
While congratulating Bullets, Moyale assistant coach Themba Ntontholo bemoaned missed chances.
“We had an upper hand and created the most chances. I think we were supposed to win this game. But that’s football for you. We have to accept,” said Ntontholo.
Moyale were the remaining Malawi Defence Force (MDF) team in the competition.
Bullets coach Mabvuto Lungu sounded relieved after the final whistle.
“It was a great comeback and it feels good to win this match. It was really tough,” said Lungu.
Out of the semi-finalists, it is only Bullets who have never won the cup, but their key defender Yamikani Fodya believes this could be their turn.
“Standard Bank Knockout Cup has always eluded us, but this time we will fight until literally the last gasp,” he said.