The quarter-final line up of the inaugural FDH Bank Cup is now complete following Nyasa Big Bullets and Dedza Young Soccer’s victories over Mighty Tigers and Blue Eagles, respectively on Sunday.
Bullets and Dedza join Silver Strikers, Mighty Wanderers, Mafco FC, Ntopwa FC, Rumphi United and Ekwendeni Hammers in the last eight as the battle for the record K25 million winner’s purse intensifies.
The People’s Team saw off Mighty Tigers 2-0 at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre while the second-tier league Dedza-based side bundled out TNM Super League side Blue Eagles 5-4 in post-match penalties after playing out a one-all draw in regulation time.
Dedza stand proudly as one of the only two lower league sides that have sailed through to the quarter-finals, the other team being Rumphi United.
At Kamuzu Stadium, the People’s Team surged ahead 20 minutes into the match through Lanjesi Nkhoma after being set up by Eric Kaonga.
The TNM Super League champions had their backs to the wall for the better part of the second half, but their efforts were frustrated by Bullets goal tender Rabson Chienda who put up a five-star display.
MacFallen Mgwira put the match beyond Tigers’ reach in the 90th minute with a beauty from a counter-attack.
Bullets assistant coach Peter Mponda admitted that Tigers gave them a big scare.
He said: “They are a good side. After beating them twice in the league, we knew they would come hard on us.
“But the early goal helped to settle our nerves and the second goal killed their fighting spirit.”
On the other hand, Tigers coach Trevor Kajawa said he was disappointed with the result.
“I do not think it is a true reflection of the match. We played well, but poor finishing let us down,” he said.
At Nankhaka in Lilongwe, the sky fell on the Eagles when Wonder Jelemani’s spot-kick was saved by Dedza ‘keeper Ackim Leonard.
All the other penalties were converted.
In regulation time, Mecium Mhone put the cops ahead in the fifth minute from a free kick, but the visitors pulled level through Felix Msowoya 10 minutes later.
Regulation time failed to produce the winner and the match had to be decided through the dreaded penalty shoot-out.
Dedza coach Andrew Bunya said the secret was to rally his charges to give out their best shot.
“We knew that it would be tough, but I told my boys to give out something extra and fight from start to finish,” he said.