A Masters Security yesterday stunned Be Forward Wanderers 5-4 on post match penalties and claimed their first ever silverware—the Carlsberg Cup—in a nerve-wracking final at fully-packed Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre.
Though the Nomads took the lead just 40 seconds into the match when left-back Precious Sambani headed in a Yamikani Chester cross, Masters, were a better side in all departments and controlled the tempo of the game.
Led by their fantastic captain Francis Nkonda, who deservedly got the man of the match accolade, Masters did not waste time to recover from the early goal.
Nkonda was superb to watch as he outclassed Joseph Kamwendo and Nomads captain Alfred Manyozo Jnr in central midfield.
Masters could have wrapped up the game in the first-half but their strikers Babatunde Adebale and Juma Yatina were jittery in front of goal.
Wanderers also had to thank their goalkeeper Nenani Juwaya whose timely saves kept out Babatunde in one-on-one duels just before recess.
Though the Nomads led at half-time, it was clear they were not having a good day.
Masters on the other hand maintained the game plan calling to duty Nomads keeper Juwaya a couple of times.
However Wanderers had themselves to blame for failing to double the lead to dampen Masters’ spirits.
Substitute Zicco Nkanda, who replaced struggling Esau Kanyenda, headed wide with Masters keeper Bester Phiri beaten.
Isaac Kaliati also wasted a golden opportunity when he hit the side net after some good work from Chester.
Just like in the semi-final when they equalised at a time Nyasa Big Bullets were counting on a lone goal, Masters overturned the tide in the 85th minute when substitute Sam Phiri tapped in from a rebound after Juwaya had saved Yatina’s shot.
Wanderers supporters, who painted the stadium in orange, fell silent knowing well how Masters have managed to sail through on post-match penalties in quarter-finals and semi-finals.
The Nomads players’ body language clearly showed that they had lost confidence when referee Azizi Nyirenda blew the whistle to mark the end of the match.
In post-match penalties Masters exuded confidence as they converted all their spot-kicks taken by Nkonda, Yatina, Eric Asika, Babatunde, and Richard Chande in that order.
Wanderers, on the other hand, converted four spot kicks through Nkanda, Francis Mulimbika, Rafiq Namwela and Sambani.
Manyozo Jnr was the villain of the day when he failed to lead by example after Masters goalkeeper Phiri kept out his penalty.
Masters coach Abbas Makawa downplayed his achievement saying they knew Wanderers have aged players who cannot last 90 minutes.
“We came on a mission and we have accomplished it,” he said.
Downcast Wanderers coach Bob Mpinganjira rued missed scoring opportunities.
“If you don’t utilise such scoring opportunities you get punished. We started well, scored that early goal but we missed a lot of chances and allowed them to equalise,” he said.