Nyasa Big Bullets yesterday came from behind to brush aside Karonga United’s resistance, beating the rookies 4-2 in a temperamental Fisd Challenge Cup round of 16 match at Chilomoni Stadium in Blantyre.
Complacency almost cost the hosts a place in the quarter-finals after Simama Premier League outfit scored two quick goals inside the half-hour.
Anthony Mfuni netted twice in the 12th and the 26th minute, but the rookies failed to withstand pressure and allowed The People’s Team to come back into the game.
But a red-card to Lawrence Mjonja after a second bookable offence also destabilised the ‘Crocodiles from Karonga’, allowing Bullets to equalise before half-time through Bright Munthali to end the second-half two-all.
Munthali completed a hat-trick soon after recess, tapping in from substitute Jimmy Zakazaka’s set-piece.
The former Azam Tigers striker then turned provider in the 72nd minute when his low cross landed on Zakazaka’s right foot to make it 4-2.
Bullets assistant coach Elia Kananji praised his charges for a spirited performance in the second-half.
“In the first-half, we played poorly, but we improved a lot in the second-half,” he said.
But his Karonga counterpart Ronald Zgambo blamed the loss on poor officiation.
He said: “We could have won this game had it not been for poor officiation. We played better than our opponents. All this is now water under the bridge and our focus is on fighting for our return to the Super League.”
Bullets now face Blue Eagles in the quarter-finals. The Malawi Police Service outfit beat Mzuzu University (Mzuni) 4-2 on post-match penalties after regulation time ended goalless.
Vitumbiko Kumwenda, John Malidadi Jnr, Stuart Mbunge and Gilbert Chirwa converted for Eagles.
Eagles goalkeeper John Soko was hero as he saved two penalties from Matthews Salirana and Mzuni captain Luciano Kayira while Khumbo Banda and Fraston Chisi converted their penalties.
Eagles caretaker coach Christopher Sibale said he will polish up the attacking force ahead of the quarter-final match against high-flying Bullets.
Masters Security face Kamuzu Barracks (KB) in the quarter-finals after stunning Mafco 1-0 at Chitowe in Dwangwa, Nkhotakota.
KB booked a place in the quarter-finals after beating Chikwawa United 4-0 at Kalulu Stadium in Nchalo, Chikwawa. n