Nyasa Big Bullets yesterday won their third Carlsberg Cup after beating Be Forward Wanderers 5-3 in post match penalties at a nearly-full Bingu National Stadium (BNS) in Lilongwe.
The huge attendance included Minister responsible for sports Francis Kasaila, top management from Carlsberg Malawi Limited and Football Association of Malawi (FAM) president Walter Nyamilandu.
The match started with a minute of silence in respect to late Wanderers chairperosn George Chamangwa and July 6 Independence Day Celebrations stampede victims.
On the pitch, Wanderers deservedly took the lead after just 21 minutes into play, through Jaffalie Chande, who dispossessed Emmanuel Zoya and picked his spot to shoot past Ernest Kakhobwe in Bullets goals.
But Bullets levelled in the 31st minute with their first shot on target through Muhammad Sulumba.
Winger Fischer Kondowe made a fine run on the right wing to cross an appetising ball which Sulumba tapped in the net beating Richard Chipuwa in Wanderers goals.
But a moment of pure genius from Isaac Kaliyati restored Wanderers lead. The midfielder let go a thunderbolt that screamed past Kakhobwe to send the blue side of BNS into rapture.
However, former Civo United player Nelson Kangunje equalised from the spot kick after a handball in the box by a Wanderers’ Rafik Namwela to force the match to be decided through the penalties.
Kangunje also scored the decisive penalty after Kaliyati hit the post. Chiukepo Msowoya, Kondowe, Mussa Manyenje and Henry Kabichi also converted their spot kicks.
Namwela, Precious Sambani, and Chande had scored their spot kicks before Kaliyati broke Wanderers faithfuls hearts. Wanderers team manager Steve Madeira put up a brave face in post match interview.
“We have ourselves to blame. We had opportunities to kill the game in normal time, but we failed to score more goals. I really I am proud of the players. They played some great football. It is a painful loss,” he said.
It was a grest feat for Bullets coach Elia Kananji.
“We never gave up despite going down twice. The players showed resilience and we won. Credit also to the fans for coming in their huge numbers to cheer us,” said Kananji.
The finals wad spiced by Malawi Defence Force Airborne Rangers who parachuted the trophy into the stadium.