Be Forward Wanderers yesterday survived Max Bullets scare at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre thanks to a late penalty to pip the rookies 2-1 and book a date against Moyale Barracks in the Presidential Cup semi-finals.
Things seemed to be in favour of the Nomads when Isaac Kaliyati, straight from the 2016 Cosafa Cup edition in Namibia, continued his impressive performance when he put Wanderers in the lead just after the half hour mark.
But Max Bullets equalised before recess through Mayeso Mphanje’s set piece which slipped through ill-positioned Nomads goalkeeper Peter Munthali sending panic on the Nomads bench.
In the second-half the rookies did well to keep the Nomads at bay, threatening to force the game into post-match penalties.
However, they were betrayed by the late penalty after a handball in the box just eight minutes before regulation time.
Striker Peter Wadabwa stepped up to coolly convert the spot kick much to the relief of Wanderers supporters that were dreading the penalty shot-out.
From then on, it was the Nomads controlling the game.
They almost scored a third goal in added time when Wadabwa’s cross eluded substitute striker Amos Bello.
Max Bullets went home grumbling for what they claimed was a soft penalty, but they also did little more especially in the second half when they did not create scoring opportunities.
Their coach Trevor Kajawa applauded his charges for fighting to the end.
“The game was balanced until they [Wanderers] were awarded that penalty. I cannot say much about that penalty. But I think we gave Wanderers a good game. Only that we did not score goals,” he said.
Wanderers coach Eddington Ng’onamo was relieved to make it to the semi-final.
“We played well, more especially in the second half. We pressurised Max Bullets that is why they conceded that penalty. We will go back to the drawing board and rectify the small mistakes we have noted,” he said.
The Nomads now face Moyale Barracks who beat Epac FC 2-1 to qualify for the semi-final.
The battle for the last semi-final slot concludes on Saturday when Nyasa Big Bullets face Kabwafu of Mzimba at Mzuzu Stadium.
The winner between the two will play Mafco who made it to the semi-final after beating neighbours Dwangwa United in the quarter-finals.
The semifinals will be played on July 2 and 3 while the final is scheduled for July 16, according to Football Association of Malawi (FAM) competitions manager Gomezgani Zakazaka.