The two giants were meeting for the fourth Carlsberg Cup final and it was Nyasa Big Bullets who defied all odds to match Be Forward Wanderers’ record of winning the cup three times after a 5-3 victory on post-match penalties at Bingu National Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The regulation time ended 2-2 with Bullets coming from behind twice and eventually winning the match after Yamikani Chester’s decisive penalty came off the woodwork.
It was an entertaining 90 minutes as both teams displayed brilliant football and it was not a surprise to see Jafali Chande scoring the opening goal following Emmanuel Zoya’s mistake in his own half to lose possession, allowing the former Bullets striker to score past the advanced Ernest Kakhobwe in goals for the red army side.
Ten minutes later, it was 1-all. A brilliant display of football between Pilirani Zonda and Fischer Kondowe released Muhammad Sulumba who made no mistake by volleying over Richard Chipuwa who was already beaten before the ball was released into the box, 1-1.
The goal rejuvenated Bullets who attacked like angry vipers in search for the winning goal but Harry Nyirenda was very outstanding at the back for the Nomads.
Just when everybody thought the first half would end 1-1, Isaac Kaliyati scored a stunner to send the blue side into a frenzy.
Bullets were caught napping in the line off duty when they lost possession inside Wanderers’ half, allowing the Nomads to launch a stunning counter-hurricane attack which saw Kaliyati releasing a thunderous bolt outside the penalty box to beat Kakhobwe into the top corner.
Come second half, Wanderers introduced Bongani Kaipa for Boston Kabango as the Lali Lubani boys opted to defend their lead.
Unlike the first half, there were more stoppages as tempos flew higher especially in the middle of the park where Nelson Kangunje and Joseph Kamwendo were operating for the two sides.
Bullets then brought in Kondwani Kumwenda and Henry Kabichi while Felix Zulu came in to replace the veteran Esau Kanyenda who was inactive.
With ten minutes to go, the match was level.
A diagonal ball from Chiukepo Msowoya was handled by Rafick Namwera, leaving referee Dennis Ngulube with no choice but to point straight on the spot where Nelson Kangunje slotted the ball home to make it 2-2.
The match had to be decided through penalties where Wanderers’ Chester missed his spot kick, leaving Kangunje with the opportunity to score the winning penalty to hand Bullets the trophy for the third time, matching their rivals who were the defending champions before the defeat.
The People’s Team walked away with the trophy plus K12 million.