The stage is set for the grand finale of the Pachema FDH Bank Cup as holders FCB Nyasa Bullets and Mafco clash at Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe.
After weeks of preparations the two sides have promised to dish out their best performances in the quest to win the championship.
For defending champions Bullets it is an opportunity to retain the cup which they won last year after beating their reserve side 3-1 in a family affair.
For Mafco on the other hand it’s a historic cup final, having made it this far in 2013 when they won the Presidential Cup.
Both sides’ coaches in pre-match press briefing on Saturday were beaming with confidence.
But Bullets coach Kallisto Pasuwa, observes that history will not play any role if they are to retain the title.
The Zimbabwean tactician said: “As Bullets, we play each and every game as it comes.
“I am one person who believes to say, if we work hard on the day of the game then we will win it.
“We can’t talk of history. Yes of course we won it last time, but again for us to retain it we need to fight hard.
“Remember, the players who were there are not around and also we have youngsters who came in. So it’s a whole new set up.
“For us we have to do more to defend the cup. You know at times they (players) might relax thinking may be we will win it even if we play at low intensity.
“But in football you can’t do that. You need to put everything in order to win that cup.”
The last time the two sides met was in a league battle and it ended in stalemate.
But in 2022 season it was Mafco that handed Bullets their first defeat in the league.
Similarly Pasuwa said this afternoon they expect a tough battle against the Salima-based soldiers.
“Mafco is a team that I mustn’t underrate. A team that has been doing very well against us. Very good on aggression.”
On his part, Mafco coach Prichard Mwansa said this is the time for his players to make history.
“This is time for our players to make history. It’s almost 10 years ago that we last won a cup. It is important for us to win this cup.
“We know that it won’t be easy. But we will fight until the last whistle.
“We have come from far. I must thank my players for fighting all the way. We had good preparations for the game. And my players are ready.”
But Mwansa said this does not mean they do not respect Bullets.
“Yes, they are a good side. They are doing fine. They participated in CAF Champions League.
“They won the cup last year. We respect them. But we are just looking forward to winning the cup as well.”
Mafco started the FDH Bank Cup campaign with a 4-2 victory over Simos League outfit Ekwendeni Hard Knockers with Zikani Sichinga scoring a hat-trick while Peter Katsonga scored the other goal.
In round of 16, Mafco gave up a 2-0 lead from a Mphatso Phillimon brace to allow Blue Eagles to level through Christopher Gototo and Chikondi Mvula bit went on to win 5-3 in post-match penalties.
In the quarter-finals they again drew 0-0 against Bangwe All Stars and Mafco converted all their spot kicks to win 5-4.
In the semis, centreback Paul Ndhlovu’s goal sent Mighty Mukuru Wanderers packing and the soldiers into the final.
Bullets started cup defence with a 4-0 victory over rookies Ndirande Stars in round of 32 and a 3-0 triumph over Balaka in round of 16.
However, they needed post match penalties to boot out Extreme FC 4-2 in after the game ended one-all in regulation time.
But in the semis they had a field day as they thumped Dedza Dynamos Salima Sugar 5-1.