19 November 2017
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Thursday, 26 October 2017 10:20

Bullets Survive Karonga United Scare as violence spoil match

Written by  Thumbiko Nyirongo
Part of the action between Bullets and Karonga United - Pic by Thumbiko Nyirongo Part of the action between Bullets and Karonga United - Pic by Thumbiko Nyirongo

Blantyre, October 26, 2017: Super League giantsNyasa Big Bullets on Wednesday afternoon came from behind to beat Northern Region Premier league team Karonga United 4-2 at Chilomoni Stadium, Blantyre in the FISD Challenge Cup.

In the first 10 Minutes of the first half, Karonga United striker Antony Mfune sent Rockies supporters to an early ‘honeymoon’ after opening the score sheet.

Karonga United strikers Mfune, Khumbo Msowoya and Suzgo Siyeni kept on terrorizing Bullets defence which comprised of George Nyirenda, Bashir Maunde and Maneno Nyoni.

As the time was clocking 20th minutes in the first half, Mfune turned Chilomoni Stadium into a mourning arena after scoring a second goal for Karonga United leaving Bullets Supporters mouth agape as they were slowly kissing goodbye to the FISD Cup.

However, it was in the 37th minute of the first half when Bright Munthali rescued Bullets after scoring the first goal before scoring another one in the 42th minute to level the score line in the first half.

In the second-half, fans witnessed some ‘drama’ after Karonga United players refused to leave the dressing room to the field of play, citing poor officiation and insecurity, special thanks to Football Association of Malawi (FAM) officials who pleaded with the players.

After delaying the second half kickoff for about 20 minutes, Karonga United players were seen leaving the dressing room for the pitch only to receive ‘baptism of goals’ from Bullets.

Bullets Veteran Fischer Kondowe, Munthali, Mike Mkwate and Scores Kumwenda kept on scaring the Rockies of Karonga in the early minutes of the second half as they continuously kept Karonga United defence and goalkeeper Tumpale Mwalwanda busy.

In the 15th minute of the second half Munthali had no any other option but to score his third goal for Bullets before Jimmy Zakazaka nailed a final nail on Karonga United coffin making it 4-2.

In a post-match interview, Karonga United Assistance Coach Donald Zgambo conceded defeat but he blamed the referee for ‘poor’ officiation.

“It was a good game but the referee spoiled it, the referee and the officiating team made some decisions which were questionable,” said Zgambo.

His counterpart, Bullets Head Coach Rodgers Yasin, admitted that Karonga United gave them tough time.

“l should congratulate my boys for winning the game after coming from behind, it was not an easy game so to say as you know CUP games are unpredictable,” said Yasin.

Meanwhile sponsors of the Cup, Foundation for Irrigation and Sustainable Development (FISD) expressed ‘deep’ concern over the violence which occurred during the match.

During the match, supporters, clad in red and white shirts, the colours associated with Nyasa Big Bullets Football club, manhandled the referee when the game was on recess. They also roughed up Joy Television cameraman, forcing him to delete some pictures from the camera.  

In an interview with Malawi News Agency (Mana), FISD Limited Marketing and Communications Manager, Wezzie Chiumia, strongly condemned the violence.

“From the beginning of the competition we have been calling for supporters and team officials to refrain from acts of violence. What we have witnessed here is uncalled for,” he said, adding that football is a family sport which brings people together.

Football Association of Malawi (FAM) acting Media Officer, Casper Jangale who witnessed the incident, said FAM would respond on the same when they receive a report from the match commissioner.

"We are waiting for a match report from the match commissioner, Referee and the Police,” said Jangale.

He said it was high time supporters ought to observe discipline during football matches.

Jangale, therefore, assured fans of tight security in the subsequent FISD Challenge Cup matches.

FISD are sponsors of the FISD Challenge Cup to the tune of MK50 million.

The result means Nyasa Big Bullets will face Blue Eagles in the quarter-finals at a venue and date to be announced by FAM.

In other FISD Challenge Cup round of 16 games played on Wednesday, Kamuzu Barracks enrolled Chikhwawa United into football academy after crushing them by 4:0 while Masters Security thumbed MAFCO 1:0 to reach quarter finals.

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