Malawi Super league defending champions Big Bullets has sent a strong warning to all contenders that grabbing the title from them will be as difficult as climbing Mount Mulanje following a master class performance in their 4-2 victory over Red Lions on Sunday afternoon.
The visitors had taken an early lead in the third minute of the first half through their lethal man Kumbukani Mwambene but the league defending champions responded back in style by scoring three goals in the same half before completing the riot in the second half.
Both teams were coming from victories in their first matches in the second round no wonder the performance on the day was superb.
Red Lions got their opener in the third minute when Bullets shot stopper Owen Chaima failed to stop a Mwambene’s volley in the penalty box. Bullets then had more possession than the Soldiers as they tried to put the game on level.
Henry Kabichi had four shots on target inside the opening 20 minutes but the visitors’ goalkeeper Clement Mlombwa was on course as he produced fantastic saves to frustrate the home fans.
However, Mlombwa could not stop Bullets from finding the back of the net. The Soldiers failed to clear a Yamikani Fodya’s well taken corner kick which was flicked to Chiukepo Msowoya who headed past the shot stopper, 1-1.
Few minutes after equalizing, Bullets doubled their lead through Chikondi Likwemba who scored from a rebound after yet another set piece which the visitors failed to clear, 2-1.
The league leaders suffered a double injury blow to Msowoya and Chaima who were replaced by debutant Aimable Niyikiza and Chimwemwe Kumkwawa.
However, Bullets increased their lead just before the interval through Henry Kabichi who made a cool finish from a free kick which was played by Fodya, 3-1. In the second half, Red Lions showed some resilient when they brought in Innocent Mulima and Malumbo Gondwe.
Kumkwawa was forced to make a stunning save from an Innocent Bokosi’s effort before making another save to deny Moses Nankumba from finding the back of the net.
Pressure was mounting on Bullets as the Soldiers pressed hard in the first 20 minutes of the half.
Bullets brought in Chiku Kanyenda for Dave Ng’ambi but this decision only helped Red Lions to score their second goal on the day.
Nankumba released Bokosi to the right flank of the field who wasted no time by sending a masterclass cross into the penalty box which was well connected by Steve Ziba into the back of the net, 3-2.
The visitors wasted their golden opportunity to level the scoreline when Nankumba fired wide after catching Bullets’s defense off guard.
However the hosts completely dashed the visitors’s hopes of coming back into the net when James Chilapondwa scored from the spot kick to put the game to bed.
Red’s shot stopper fouled man of the match MacPhallen Ngwira when he dribbled past him, leaving referee Ishmael Chizinga with no choice but to award the hosts the spot kick which was well converted by Chilapondwa, 4-1.
In truth, Bullets missed several other chances and could easily have scored more goals on the afternoon as the likes of Jafali Chande, Niyikiza and Ngwira missed further chances, but it mattered little in the end as three points were collected.
Red Lions conceded all the four goals from set pieces, a development which left their coach Collins Nkuna frustrated.
“We will go back to the drawing board and sort this problem out. Conceding all the goals from the set pieces was painful but we need to move on,” he said.
Bullets technical director Billy Tewesa was a happy man with the result. “It’s not easy to play against Army teams because they are too physical.
We knew that they will stamp us but in the end, we have collected three points.
“I am very happy that we are still unbeaten in more than 16 games we have played so far,” he said.
The result takes Bullets to 38 points, 9 ahead of the second placed Blue Eagles with the same number of games played.
The league leaders have also extended their unbeaten league run to 16 games. And at Mzuzu Stadium, roockies Mzuni FC and Fisd Wizards played to a goalless draw.
This means that Wizards have collected two points from their two away games they have played at Mzuzu Stadium following another goalless draw against Moyale Barracks on Saturday.
Peter Mponda’s boys are still anchoring the table with 11 points from 17 games played so far