A Carlsberg Cup final rematch between age-old rivals Nyasa Big Bullets and Be Forward Wanderers could be on the cards after the two giants avoided each other during a semi-final draw held yesterday in Blantyre.
The two teams also avoided each other’s path in last year’s semis and eventually met in the finals in which the People’s Team wrested the cup from the Lali Lubani Road outfit following a 4-3 post-match penalty shoot-out victory.
The draw saw holders Bullets being pitted against fellow TNM Super League outfit Masters Security while the Nomads will face giant-killers Hangover from the Chitetezo Mbaula Southern Region Football Association Premier League on dates and venues to be announced later.
Wanderers yesterday survived Azam Tigers’ scare when they won 4-3 through post-match penalties after playing out a one-all draw in regulation time at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre.
Relief was the prevalent emotion in the Nomads camp who turned the arena into a theatre of celebrations when their captain Alfred Manyozo Jnr scored the decisive penalty after Tigers’ earlier spot-kick by Bonda Mpinganjira was kept out by Nomads’ ‘keeper Nenani Juwaya.
And as Manyozo stepped up for the decisive spot-kick, the stadium oozed anxiety. But the beauty of it lay in the execution. He did not go for power and, instead, chose dexterity—dropping his shoulders as if he was firing into the right corner and as Tigers’ goaltender Christopher Mikuwa was fooled by Manyozo’s body language by diving to his left, the Nomads skipper clipped the ball with the deftest of touches on the middle into the net.
It was game over!
The Nomads converted all their spot-kicks through Manyozo, Joseph Kamwendo, Zicco Mkanda, Francis Mlimbika and Precious Sambani while Peter Katsonga, Jaffalie Maunde, Victor Nyirenda and Anthony Namwera scored for the Kau-Kau Boys.
In normal time, Tigers took the lead in the 11th minute through Namwera after being put through by Peter Katsonga on the left flank.
But with two minutes before interval, Esau Kanyenda levelled the scores from a goal melee resulting from Kamwendo’s well-curled corner kick.
At Civo Stadium in Lilongwe, Masters Security also qualified for the semis through post-match penalties after seeing off Mafco FC’s spirited challenge 5-4. The two teams played out a two-all draw in regulation time. n