Nyasa Big Bullets yesterday survived a Karonga United scare as the hosts came from behind to overpower Ingwina sha ku Karonga 4-2 through post-match penalties after 1-1 stalemate in regulation time of Fisd Challenge Cup round of 16 encounter at Kamuzu Stadium.
Complacency almost cost Bullets the game as Karonga stunned the hosts with a wonderful strike in the 20th minute through Misheck Seleman.
By the time Bullets realised that they could be in for a shock, Karonga United had already settled down well and were commanding the game much to the annoyance of impatient Bullets supporters.
Led by captain Peter Mselema, Karonga United made Bullets look like amateurs, as they matched the star-studded hosts pound-for-pound.
Bullets had to sweat to get an equaliser in the first-half added on time.
After making some fantastic saves to deny Bullets an equaliser, Karonga United goalkeeper Anthony Singini succumbed to a Hassan Kajoke strike just seconds before referee Kondwani Kamwendo blew the whistle to mark the end of the first-half.
Sensing imminent danger Bullets reorganised themselves after the interval.
They created multiple scoring opportunities but Singini, who produced a man-of-the match performance, continued to frustrate the hosts.
Unfortunately, the impressive 19-year-old keeper was replaced by Lloyd Munthali in added on time due to an injury.
Karonga messed up things in post-match penalties as their captain Mselema and Chrispin Mhangama missed the first and second spot kicks.
Though Victor Lungu and Balikinho Mwakanyango converted the third and fourth penalties, Bullets’ precision in their penalty takers proved that experience is vital in football.
Bullets converted all their penalties through Kajoke, Charles Petro, Yamikani Fodya and Chiukepo Msowoya.
Bullets assistant coach Peter Mponda said Karonga almost succeeded in frustrating them.
“But our play was good and I am gald that we have managed to make it to the quarter-finals,” he said.
Karonga coach Dan Nzinkambani blamed the referee for adding more than three minutes in first-half which allowed Bullets to equalise.
Bullets meet Silver Strikers in the quarter-finals. The Bankers massacred Mlatho Mponela 4-0. Michael Tetteh scored a brace while Khuda Muyaba and Maxwell Gasten netted a goal each.