Diverson Mlozi scored in each half to inspire Nyasa Big Bullets to a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Silver Strikers in a friendly match that was organized as part of Malawi’s 53 years of independence celebrations at Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe on Thursday afternoon.
The opening goal came in the first 20 minutes when the Bankers’ goalkeeper misjudged a Yamikani Fodya’s corner kick to allow Mlozi to put the ball into an empty net, 1-0.
Bullets enjoyed more possession in the half than the Area 47 giants who were coming from a league match against Blue Eagles on Wednesday.
Chiukepo Msowoya was handed his first start for Bullets following his arrival from Golden Arrows last month.
However, his presence was hardly seen as the Bankers marked him tightly, handing the goal scoring duties to Mlozi who was very lethal.
As the match progressed, Silver’s Green Harawa forced Rabson Chiyenda into making his first save of the match when Bullets defence was caught napping in the line of duty.
However, things got worse for the Lilongwe based side when Ghanaian defender Yunus Shariff was judged to have fouled Mlozi in the box, leaving the referee with no choice but to point straight to the spot and show the culprit a yellow card.
Sheriff was then shown another card for shouting at the referee following the penalty decision, leaving Silver with ten men on the field of play.
Msowoya was given the task to increase the lead for Bullets only to see his spot kick well saved by Blessings Kameza in goals for the Area 47 giants.
Come second half, Bullets started off brightly as Silver struggled to cope with one man down and they almost conceded with just three minutes in the half when Msowoya’s shot missed the goalmouth with an inch.
Bernard Chimaimba had his moment of brilliance when he raced through Silver’s defence only to see his low attempted cross well cleared by Chisomo Mpachika at the back for the Reserve Bank side.
The Bankers gradually eased into the encounter and started to dictate the tempo of the tie with Harawa, Thuso Paipi and Levison Maganizo pulling the strings from the midfield.
Mlozi then doubled his tally when Chimaimba’s through-ball found him unmarked inside Silvers’ half to slot past Kameza, 2-0.
The pace of the game picked up towards the end of the match with both teams intent on attacking one another’s goalframe to little avail with Harawa having come closest to reducing the arrears but his effort was well saved by Chiyenda.
Despite Bullets’ stubbornness at the back, the Bankers got their consolation goal when Bullets were caught sleeping in the line of duty, 2-1.
Silver then tried to put the match on level but Bullets stood firm to register their first win at Bingu National Stadium in more than five attempts.