Nyasa Big Bullets Reserve on Sunday afternoon defeated Zingwangwa United at Mulanje Park Stadium to win the Powerstart knockout Cup for the second time consecutively.
The Junior peoples team claimed a 3-1 victory with Emmanuel Savieli scoring twice and Chikumbutso Salima netting once while Mark Chembezi scored a consolation goal for Zingwangwa.
Emmanuel Savieli opened the scores in the 35th minute after tapping in Yamikani Mologeni’s beautiful cross before Mark Chembezi cancelled the lead in 41th minute. He unleashed a thunderous short with his left foot after Bullets Reserve’s defence got paralysed.
Zingwangwa United nearly got the lead through Marvin Suleman but his long range was brilliantly saved by Rahaman John who was trusted by Enos Chatama to guard the goals on the day.
The game ended in stalemate in the first half.
Knowing that they needed to retain the trophy, Nyasa Big Bullets Reserve started the second half on a high note with good passing and supporting football bringing joy to the spectators who turned to watch the game. They were nocking on Zingwangwa’s door but the defence of their opponents were equal to the task.
However, Emmanuel Savieli used his cleverness to run away from Zingwangwa’s defence to pick up a ling ball from Yamikani Mologeni’s long ball from his own half to restore Reserve’s lead in the 52nd minute.
6 minutes later, Mwayi Banda came nearly to get the equaliser when he connected Tobias Davie’s deadly ball from the right flank but his header flew wide.
In the 68th minute, Chikumbutso Salima registered his name on the score sheet when he capitalised poor coordination between Zingwangwa’s defence and goalkeeper to put the game to bed and win the trophy for Chatama.
In an interview with Chatama who is doing his CAF B course at Mpira Village was very happy with the performance of the team and the trophy.
“This was a tough game, but thank God we retained the cup. It was difficult in the first half as we were losing a lot of balls in midfield.
“But everything changed for the better after I told my boys at the break to be compact and play straight balls as Zingwangwa defence was not easy to penetrate.”
Taking his turn, Zingwangwa coach Dida Zingwangwa said was happy with their milestone this year.
“We prepared well for this game, which was a balanced affair, but our goalkeeper gifted them two silly goals that cost us the game. All the same, we are happy to have reached this far,” he said.
Powertex Limited managing director Itaye Chidzero, whose battery manufacturing company bankrolls the tournament, said they were impressed with the competitiveness of the tournament and are proud to be associated with the sport.
“We have had massive competition and very exciting games. It gives us great joy to see a team from the third-tier league reaching the final.
“It tells you the level of sacrifices and hunger that the lower division teams had to excel. As a business, we are happy because this makes our brand grow,” He explained.
SRFA chairperson Raphael Humba and Football Association of Malawi executive member Felistus Dossi said they were happy that the competition is able to produce talent such as Bullets senior team attacker Patrick Mwaungula and goalkeeper Clever Nkungula that are now making headway in the senior national team.
The Juniors started their Journey of defending the Championship with a thumping 8-0 victory against Mponda before beating Bangwe All Stars 1-0 in semi-finals.
Last season, Bullets Reserve won Thumps Up Southern Region Football League, PowerStart Top 8, Aubrey Dimba and Nyasa Capital Finance Cup.
Ironically, Enos Becks Chatama produced four first team players namely Patrick Mwaungulu, Kesten Simbi, Thomson Magombo and Yankho Singo to the Senior team while others like Wadada Msowoya, Franklin Mlimanjira, Alick Jana were released.
The ‘Young Bullets’ received K2 million after retaining the Southern Region Football Association (SRFA) Cup