By Antony Isaiah Jr
Nyasa Big Bullets Reserve have secured their slot in the finals of the 2022 FDH Bank Cup after punching Extreme FC in the semifinals played at Kamuzu Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Chikumbutso Salima unwrapped the scores in the first half but it was cancelled by Beston Jimu’s 45th minute strike before scoring the winner in the second half.
They will face the winner between Nyasa Big Bullets and Mighty Mukuru Wanderers who will face each other next week at Bingu National Stadium.
Chatama breaks 8-year jinx
Despite axing almost 13 players at the begging of the season, some to the senior team while others went on to join some super League teams, Enos Chatama still doing wonders with Nyasa Big Bullets Reserve team.
He won four trophies last season, Thumbs Up Southern Region League, Power Tex, Nyasa Capital Finance and Aubrey Dimba with the players like Patrick Mwaungulu, Kesten Simbi, Kitsen White, Frank Willard, Thompson Magombo.
He has defied all odds this season having already scooping Power Tex, he has reached the final of the FDH Bank breaking the record that was held by ever-optimistic coach and director Alinafe Noel Gobede who guided Zomba United to the finals of the Carlsberg Cup.
Chatama and his Reserve boys have become the second team from the lower league to reach the finals of the National Cup in the past 15 years after Zomba United in 2014.
Zomba United lost 2-0 to Nyasa Big Bullets in the finals of the Carlberg Malawi Cup.
Nyasa Big Bullets Reserve have been the only team to pass through the bushy and stoney path to the finals of the FDH Bank Cup after beating three Super League teams along the way.
They started their journey with a preliminary round game with a thumping 8-0 victory over MUBAS before beating Mighty Tigers, Red Lions and Blue Eagles.
Straight into today’s game, Enos Chatama maintained the team that beat Blue Eagles with the match winner, Lyton Chinong’one, Chimwemwe Yassin, Rahaman John, Yamikani Mologeni among others.
Extreme FC coach, Shadreck Masina knew the way Bullets Reserve play as they also met in the semifinals of the K2.5 Million Aubrey Dimba Trophy last season where Chatama’s boys registered a 1-0 victory courtesy of Patrick Mwaungulu’s strike who is currently flying higher in the elite league.
Extreme FC managed to hold the pacey attackers for Nyasa Big Bullets Reserve, Chikumbutso Salima, Crispen Mapemba, Emmanuel Saviel, and avoiding ball distribution from the midfield where Lyton Chinong’one was bossing.
As Extreme FC defence was solid, Bullets had to rely on the set pieces as their first strike came from a well-curled free kick and the second goal was converted from the 12-yards.
Chatama had an approach of finding an early goal to settle down earlier than the visitors, and in the 3rd minute they were at the thick of things when Happy Mphepo released Crispen Mapemba in the wings but he was denied by the defence from smashing the deadlock.
Extreme FC reacted quickly when they launched an attack two minutes later but Beston Jimu’s effor went over the bar.
There was a penalty appeal from the home fans when Andrew Lameck exposed the defence for Extreme and laid it off to Chikumbutso Salima who beat a man before before being tricked down in the penalty area but the referee turned the deaf eye to the call.
After noting that he was tightly closed on the right flank, Chikumbutso Salima switched his channel of attacking to the left and the change paid off when he won the free kick just outside the box.
He had a Ronaldo-asque when he curled his effort to the right top corner beating goalkeeper of Extreme who was manning the goal sending Ndirande Stand into ruptures.
Emmanuel Savieli came early from extending the lead when he was at the thick of things after being played through by Lyton Chinong’one to go on man to man but his effort was brilliantly save by the goalkeeper, Blessings Jimu.
Extreme FC walked from their slumbers and started battling for an equaliser and they were pilling pressure on to Junior people’s team defence and their toil was paid off in the 45th minute when Beston Jimu rose into the air heading home the cross from the right flank to level the matters.
Enos Chatama made his first Substitution for Bullets Reserves when he thew jn MacRay Chiwaya for Chimwemwe Yassin.
Chikumbutso Salima stretches himself on the left wing, receiving a pass from the engine room, he left two men on the by-line before rifling his shot that was handled by Extreme Fc defender and the referee Rose Zimba awarded Reserve a penalty that Salima converted to seal the victory for the Palestines in the 60th minute.
Salima the next big thing
Wearing Patrick Mwaungulu’s shirt number 7, Chikumbutso Salima has to deliver the same things that Mwaungulu was delivering before earning Pasuwa’s eyes.
Salima has been one of the outstanding players for Reserve side this season and he is the top scorer for Chatama’s boys.
He has three goals in the FDH Bank Cup, battling for the golden Boot with Kamuzu Barracks’ Zeliati Nkhoma, Extreme FC striker, Beston Jimu, and Lloyd Njaliwa for Moyale Barracks.
Salima converted from the spot in the round of 16 game that Nyasa Big Bullets Reserve beat Red Lions at Balaka Stadium before adding two to his tally in the semifinal stage against Extreme FC.