By Antony Isaiah Jr:…….
Second-half strikes from coveted young forwards Chikumbutso Salima and Emmanuel Saviel inspired Nyasa Big Bullets Reserve to Nyasa Capital Finance Cup Championship as Steward Kalima’s strike was not enough to save stubborn Ndirande Stars.
Frustrated by a disciplined and determined Ndirande Stars and their profligacy for much of the first half at Kamuzu Stadium, Enos Chatama’s side snatched the lead just after the break through Emmanuel Saviel’s sumptuous finish.
The player of the season, Chikumbutso Salima doubled the lead 10 minutes before the final whistle after being set by Franklin Titan after a beautiful exchange of passes, a build-up that started in the midfield as the Number 8, Felix Demakunde, Macray Chiwaya all involved in the build-up before Steward Kalima pulled one back inside the added time.
Balaka FC finished third as they beat Nsanje United in the third-place play-offs and they have walked away with K250, 000 while the Shire Valley based side went home with K100,000.
𝐁𝐮𝐥𝐥𝐞𝐭𝐬 𝐑𝐞𝐬𝐞𝐫𝐯𝐞 𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐲 𝐜𝐨𝐨𝐥 𝐨𝐧 𝐫𝐨𝐚𝐝 𝐭𝐨 𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐦𝐩𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬𝐡𝐢𝐩
Despite suffering a huge blow with Wongani Kaponya and Usseni Assani nursing long-term injuries, and Chrispin Mapemba also in absence, Nyasa Big Bullets Reserve were pushed all the way by the Nyasa Capital Finance wild cards, Ndirande Stars who play in the third tie league, Unayo Southern Region Division One Football League.
Enos Chatama’s side needed to keep their nerve to retain the K8.3 Million Capital Finance Cup as they won it its it’s inaugural season.
They faced a wall of sound from Ndirande Stars’ support, with ear-splitting whistles every time they had possession – and while it was not a classic performance, Reserve remained organised and got the job done- they were able to make a build-up but they could not pierce through the defence in the first half.
Yamikani Njalimana for Ndirande Stas missed a big chance in the early stages of the game as he failed to tap in the ball before Chimwemwe Yassin for Nyasa Big Bullets clattered the post.
Still Ndirande Stars pushed before the break, but they wasted opportunities as Rahaman John was forced to make a save as Njalimana had a one-on-one situation.
Emmanuel Savieli for Nyasa Big Bullets Reserve nearly put his side ahead just after the recess but he saw his shot easily saved by Hamid Msopa before Chatama made a Tripple substitution by introducing Macray Chiwaya, Mussa Bwanali and Franklin Titani for Lyton Chinong’one, Alex Tsamba and Happy Mphepo.
Steward Kalima, Chikondi Jere were introduced for Thoko Mpinde and Justic Zulu and Kalima proved his worthy after netting a solacing goal.
𝐀𝐧𝐨𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫 𝐭𝐫𝐨𝐩𝐡𝐲 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐭𝐚𝐦𝐚’𝐬 𝐑𝐞𝐬𝐞𝐫𝐯𝐞
It’s 2 trophies in a space of five days as they won the K5 Million Aubrey Dimba Trophy after beating Silver Strikers Reserve in Mchinji.
For winning the Nyasa Capital Finance Cup, Reserve have pocketed K1.5 Million while Ndirande Stars went home with K600,000.
“Thank God for the victory, two trophies in five days is such a big achievement, kudos to the boys for a job well done, though the boys are now showing signs of fatigue we will fight up to the last game of the season,” writes Chatama on his Facebook account.
The Junior people’s team have won 7 of their last 8 Cup finals in two years- only Nyasa Big Bullets Senior team beat them in the FDH Bank Cup Finale. They also won PowerTex Tayale Top 8 earlier this year.
They will face Bangwe All-Stars in the finale of the Southern Region Football League.
Photo : Nyasa Big Bullets media.