…Red Lions hold Mafco…
Nyasa Big Bullets got their league season campaign off to a winning start as they beat 2016 league champions Kamuzu Barracks 1-0 at Civo Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
The People’s Team, as Bullets are known, certainly looked a far better organized and attacking unit than they were last season, and pressed for the opening goal right from the start.
At the other end, Bullets’ goalkeeper Ernest Kakhobwe was not bothered by the Soldiers’ strikeforce in the first half.
The visitors broke the deadlock in the 5th minute, when Pilirani Zonda delivered a free kick from which Lemani Nthala conceded a corner.
Chiukepo Msowoya, unmarked in the box, headed home from a close range to send the visitors into uncontrollable celebrations, 1-0.
Moments later, Bright Munthali forced his way into KB’s box but the former Azam Tigers forward blasted his effort wide from the Soldiers’ goal area.
At the other end, Ndaona Ndaisi missed what was probably KB’s closest chance when he was found unmarked inside Bullets’ penalty area only to hit the side net when the goalkeeper was already beaten.
With less than 5 minutes to play in the first half, Nelson Kangunje had all the opportunities in the world to completely dash KB’s hopes of making a comeback but his low drive came off the woodwork with Nthala already beaten in the line of duty.
Come second half, it was the home side that threatened in the opening minutes, with Fransisco Kamdzeka forcing Kakhobwe into early action when his effort was saved for a corner.
Moments later, Dave Banda released a thunderbolt just outside Bullets’ box which caught Kakhobwe napping in the line of duty but the former Tigers goalkeeper made amends by saving the situation.
Fischer Kondowe was a continuous thorn in the flesh to the hosts, with his strong running in the wings.
Kondowe delivered a masterclass cross inside KB’s goal area from which Munthali failed to convert when his header missed the goalmouth with an inch.
Led by captain John Lanjesi, Bullets’ defence never looked like conceding a goal on the afternoon as they covered Kakhobwe well to frustrate the home fans.
Bullets had Kangunje’s goal disallowed for a foul on Nthala and that was his last chance in the match as he paved the way for Emmanuel Zoya, with Patrick Phiri coming in for Munthali.
Immediately after coming in, Phiri missed a golden opportunity to cement the victory when he was found one on one with Nthala only to fire straight at KB’s shot stopper.
With 3 minutes on the clock, Fodya made a fantastic effort to intercept Daisi’s shot from inside Bullets’ box in what could have been a last minute leveller. After 90 minutes, 1-0 it ended.
At Dedza Stadium, Masters Security and Civil Sporting Club played to a 1-all draw while Red Lions had to come from behind to draw 2-2 against Mafco FC to return to Zomba with 4 points.
The result takes the Zomba based Soldiers to the top of the summit.