Be Forward Wanderers assistant coach Elia Kananji has admitted that the pressure is on the Nomads as they face rookies Max Bullets in a Presidential Cup quarter-final at Kamuzu Stadium this afternoon.
The Nomads go into the game as favourites, but Kananji said cup games are always tricky and warned that underrating the TNM Super League rookies could be suicidal.
“There are no underdogs in football these days. Being a cup game even makes things tough for us. We know Max Bullets will come hard on us and they should not be taken as underdogs,” said Kananji.
The last quarter-final featuring Nyasa Big Bullets and Kabwafu will be played at Mzuzu Stadium on Saturday
The games were delayed because Bullets and Wanderers contributed more than three players each to the national team which was engaged in Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Zimbabwe and Cosafa Cup in Namibia.
The Nomads welcome defenders Francis Mlimbika, Stanley Sanudi, midfield work-horse Rafik Namwera, striker Peter Wadabwa and winger Isaac Kaliyati.
Max Bullets have been struggling in the Super League. They are yet to collect full points.
The best they have managed are four draws against Karonga United, Epac FC, Dwangwa United and Azam Tigers.
This afternoon, Max Bullets coach Trevor Kajawa is banking his hopes on the experience of Wachimwa Sadick, Mayeso Mphanje, Robson Banda, Samson Chonde, Chimwemwe Nyakamera, Precious Msosa, Chikondi Mpulula, Wongani Zulu and Frazer Menyani.
The coach said they are ready for the showdown against the Nomads.
The winners in the two quarter-finals join Mafco and Moyale Barracks in the semi-finals.
To reach the semi-final, Mafco beat neighbours Dwangwa United while Moyale Barracks booted out Epac FC.
“We believe in fairplay that’s why the two teams’ quarter-finals were delayed. Now that all the teams have their full squad, may the best team win,” said Football Association of Malawi (FAM) competitions manager Gomezgani Zakazaka.
The semi-finals will be played on July 2 and 3 while the final is scheduled for July 16, according to Zakazaka.
“Despite the break, the programme has not been affected. We will stick to the calendar,” he said.