Gabadinho treble inspires Bullets
Gabadinho Mhango’s sensational hat-trick inspired Big Bullets to the K20 million Standard Bank quarter final after a comprehensive 4-1 demolition of Blantyre United at the Kamuzu Stadium.
Bullets, who also face Moyale Barracks in the Presidential Cup final on August 26, now date Epac FC in the last eight over two legs from the first week of September.
In making it 13 goals in 16 games of all competitions and his second treble this season, it took barely three minutes for the 20-year-old Gabadinho to put Bullets on the victory trail.
Like a serial thief, he stole the ball from United defender outside the 18-yard-box, weaved his way past tackled, the picked his spot with his stronger right foot to the far right of diving veteran goalkeeper Simeon Kapuza.
Then one became two for Gabadinho. Picking a cross from his strike partner Heston Munthali, Gabadinho chested the ball down and buried it into the net on 28 minutes.
But United were never to give up easily. They won a free kick which Dalitso Sailesi drilled past Bullets goalkeeper Owen Chaima on 31 minutes.
The battle continued after break in similar fashion. United, who eventually had defender Thoko Stambuli red-carded for a second bookable offence, conceded the third on 50th minute from Diverson Mlozi’ scissors kick. Gabadinho completed his treble with a chip a minute later.
The following day in Balaka, Bullets switched their attention to the TNM Super League as they beat bottom-placed Escom United 2-1. Heston Munthali and Mlozi were the scorers. Bullets rivals Mighty Wanderers also ended their troubled four-game losing run to defeat Blue Eagles 2-0.
Diverson Chilemba and Anthony Banda eased the pressure on Wanderers who fired coach Frank Ndawa last week. Felix Fosiko is the caretaker.
Red Lions extended their unbeaten run to ten games after 2-0 and 1-0 victories over Civo United and Kamuzu Barracks in Lilongwe on Saturday and Sunday. The Lions dislodged Civo from the second position on 24 points, four behind leaders Silver Strikers who lost 3-1 to Epac FC on Monday at Civo Stadium. Civo are third on 22.
There other losses for Moyale Barracks, who after hammering Bvumbwe Research 2-0 on Saturday, stumbled 3-0 to Blantyre United. Elsewhere, Azam Tigers won 2-1 over Blue Eagles. Tigers are fourth on 21 points.