In front of thousands of football fans, Emmanuel Zoya netted the only goal of the match to inspire Nyasa Big Bullets to a hard fought victory over bitter rivals Be Forward Wanderers at Bingu National Stadium on Sunday.
The win has reduced the gap between the two sides to seven points.
Before the match, Wanderers were ten points ahead of Bullets in the title race and victory was a must for the Red Army if they wanted to keep their title ambitions alive having dropped 15 points in their first ten games of the season.
With Wanderers on top of the league, many predicted the match in their favor but history once again proved to football fanatics that it has a part to play in matches when Zoya made a cool finish from Yamikani Fodya’s corner which was flicked by Chiukepo Msowoya.
Without some key players in their starting eleven, Wanderers were too slow to up their rhythm in the opening minutes, allowing their opponents to attack in full swings before firing shots at Richard Chipuwa.
Fodya’s cross nearly opened the scoring for Bullets when Chipuwa left his line of duty only to fail to clear the ball away from his box but he was very lucky as Chiukepo Msowoya failed to connect the ball into the net.
Moments later, the Red Army were celebrating.
A corner from Fodya was flicked by Msowoya before Kaipa’s intervention only to see the ball landing in the path of Zoya who made no mistake by putting the ball into the back of the net, 1-0.
Bullets kept on attacking like angry vipers and were very unfortunate not to add another goal when Msowoya’s shot was deflected into Chipuwa’s site to make an easy save.
At the other end, Precious Msosa had his first opportunity to level the scores but his header went over the cross bar.
Wanderers were now in control of the midfield as Alfred Manyozo Jnr and Rafic Namwera made things happen for the visitors but Msosa and Jafali Chande upfront lacked power to put the ball past Ernest Kakhobwe who was very outstanding in goals for Bullets.
With less than ten minutes to play in the half, Lucky Malata’s header hit the upright as pressure mounted on Bullets.
Wanderers tried in vain to get back into the match but it was not to be as the half ended 1-0 in favor of Bullets.
Come second half, Wanderers continued to dominate possession but to unlock Bullets’ defence proved too difficult.
Kakhobwe kept Bullets in the game when he produced a stunning save to deny Msosa from scoring.
At the other end of the field, Msowoya blasted his effort away from the goal mouth when he was set through by Nelson Kangunje.
Bullets then introduced Mike Mkwate and Mussa Manyenje for Fischer Kondowe and Kangunje while Peter Wadabwa and Isaac Kaliyati came in for Felix Zulu and ineffective Chande.
Msosa was giving Bullets’ defence some problems but to beat Kakhobwe proved too difficult as the former Azam Tigers and Nomads shot-stopper produced stunning saves to frustrate the visiting fans.
Bullets then introduced George Nyirenda for Kondwani Kumwenda while Jabulani Linje came in for the Nomads but it was too little too late as Bullets held on to collect maximum points over their bitter rivals.
The result means Wanderers are yet to register a victory over Bullets since 2012.
Bullets are now 5th on the standings with 21 points from 12 games while Wanderers are still topping the standings with 28 points from the same number of games.