On that bright afternoon at Kamuzu Stadium, the Bullets former skipper Peter â€˜Mjojoâ€™ Mponda turned on the magic to stun the now defunct â€˜Soccer Saintsâ€™ with two late strikes that forced the match into penalties.
This afternoon, the Bullets are yearning to end the cup drought when they take on Blue Eagles in the final of the K12.5 million (about $75 000) Fellowship Association of Malawi (Fama) Top Eight Trophy. The setting is Civo Stadium in Lilongwe.
Disillusionment has crept into their fans who were spoiled by a team that used to win trophies year in, year out. Sadly, over the years, things have not been rosy for Bullets who have lost a lot of the golden touch that made them a force to reckon with on the domestic scene.
But the Peopleâ€™s Team coach Eddie Ngâ€™onamo and veteran key players Fischer â€˜Anongâ€™aâ€™ Kondowe and Grant â€˜Ginteâ€™ Lungu believe they will take their fans down memory lane this afternoon.
Said Ngâ€™onamo: “We want to reward our fans for their loyalty by winning the Fama Bonanza and we are set for the showdown.”
But Ngâ€™onamo admitted that the postponement of the final has taken away some steam.
The last time the two teams met in a cup final was in 1995, when the cops beat Bullets 2-0 at the same venue to clinch the Chibuku Cup.
However, Eagles mentor Deklerk Msakakuona said on Friday his team is looking forward to giving the new Inspector General Lot Dzonzi a timely gift.
“There can be no other better gift to our new patron than winning this trophy. We are, therefore, determined to fight our lungs out,” said Msakakuona.
Bullets will go into the showdown without key players; defender George Nyirenda, midfielder Henry Kabichi and striker Gabadini Mhango whereas the Eagles will miss the services of defender Steve Chagoma and marksman Christopher John Banda who are part of the Flames squad that is scheduled to depart the country tomorrow for China.
Flames coach Kinnah Phiri said he has had to change his tune on the availability of the players for the final match to avoid injuries.
“After consultations with FAM, it was felt that the players that are making the trip should not be released as a precautionary measure because in the event that they get injured, they will not be replaced as those that are going have travel visas,” Kinnah said.
But both teams have enough arsenal for the clash. While Bullets will look up to Kondowe, Lungu, Fundi Akidu, Jelesi Lufeyo, Godfrey Masondo, Tadala Masamba, Waile Tembeta, Robson Banda and Douglas Chirambo; the cops will bank on veteran midfielder Peter â€˜Shoesâ€™ Mgangira, Innocent Bokosi and Chikondi Mpulula.