Holders FCB Nyasa Bullets and Dedza Dynamos Salima Sugar will this afternoon battle for the remaining FDH Bank Cup finalist slot at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre.
Much as Bullets have been impressive in both league and cup games this season, the second semi-final promises to be an explosive as they come up against a determined and resilient foe in Dedza Dynamos.
Think of it. Dedza are the only team that played fellow TNM Super League sides on their way to the semis.
They started the campaign against Chitipa United in round of 32 and managed to boot out the TNM Super League team of the moment 1-0 at their backyard Karonga Stadium.
That defeat is the only home one for Chitipa United in all competitions this season.
Next on the list was Ekwendeni Hammers whom they mercilessly hammered 3-0 at Dedza Stadium in round of 16.
Then came Moyale Barracks in the quarter-finals played also at Dedza Stadium.
The match ended one-all in regulation time and Dedza triumphed 3-2 on post match penalties.
Dedza’s fairy-tale journey speaks volumes of what Bullets should expect in this afternoon’s match.
The People’s Team fans memories should be fresh on how in their last meeting in the TNM Super League Bullets had to rely on a late penalty to force a two-all draw at Kamuzu Stadium.
Bullets coach Kallisto Pasuwa in pre-match interview admitted that they cannot even think of underrating Dedza Dynamos.
“Dedza is not a small team. They gave us a tough time last time we met them in the TNM Super League. Although we are positive of better result, we need to do more to finish off on a very good note,” the Zimbabwean tactician said.
Dedza coach Gilbert Chirwa, a Bullets and Flames legend, could not hide his excitement at tussling against his former team in Dedza’s first ever cup semi-final.
“We have been there [Kamuzu Stadium] before this season when we faced Bullets in the league game that ended 2-2. So, we’re going at a venue we already know about,” he said.
Chirwa said his boys will be aiming at making history.
“We’re facing an experienced side with a great coach in the name of Pasuwa and they are the current cup holders. But we’re going there to write our own history books in the competition,”
“Reaching the semi-finals is not enough and the guys know about that. So we’re travelling to Blantyre with one mission and that is to beat Bullets and reach the finals,” he explained.
Both sides go into the match without some key players.
Bullets will not have Precious Phiri, Precious Sambani and Eric Kaonga due to injuries.
Dedza will also miss their marksman Clement Nyondo, who is currently the TNM Super League top scorer.
Nyondo was instrumental in the team’s journey to the semies, netting a brace in the round of 16 3-0 victory over Ekwendeni Hammers.
Dedza will also be without Limbani Phiri and Clement Chipanda due to injuries while Joseph Balakasi is suspended.