Irate Nyasa Big Bullets supporters yesterday held a vigil at Kamuzu Stadium to push for the reinstatement of fired coach Elia Kananji after the People’s Team failed to unlock struggling Nchalo United in regulation time before winning 4-3 on post-match penalties in a dull Fisd Challenge Cup preliminary round encounter.
It was one of the worst performances for Bullets who kept their supporters agitated, hoping things would change with each passing minute, only to be disappointed as a full Bullets squad with all the stars such as Chiukepo Msowoya, Mike Mkwate, Patrick Phiri and Bright Munthali failed to hit the target.
In fact, Nchalo nearly scored in the 70th minute after goalkeeper Ernest Kakhobwe fumbled a cross and Fraser Menyani, who was poised to fire home, collided with the goalkeeper and had to be rushed to the hospital after being knocked down unconscious.
After a goalless regulation time, the Bullets supporters anxiously waited for the dreaded penalty shoot-out and had to thank Kakhobwe who saved a penalty while Nchalo captain Felix Kamwendo blasted his spot-kick.
Nchalo coach McDonald Yobe, in post-match interview, applauded his charges.
“Penalties are unpredictable, they are like gambling—you can either miss or score its fifty-fifty. I must applaud the boys for their fighting spirit. We managed to hold Bullets and we could even have scored at some point,” he said.
This was Bullets’ third cup game to be decided through post-match penalties after the same happened in Carlsberg Cup against Red Lion and Masters Security.
Bullets caretaker coach Heston Munthali pleaded for patience from the team’s supporters.
But the supporters would not have it as they met for an hour after the match and agreed to push for Kananji’s return.
“We want Kananji back in Bullets technical panel set-up. It doesn’t matter which position. He can be assistant to whosoever coach is coming,” said one of the supporters Maxon Chilembwe.
Bullets chief executive officer Fleetwood Haiya said they will unveil the new coach today.