Blantyre derby ends in goalless stalemate

Malawi Football Big Bullets Wanderers FC

Nyasa Big Bullets dominated the game especially in the second half, but neither they nor Be Forward Wanderers could break the deadlock in another edgy Blantyre derby which ended 0-0 at Bingu National Stadium on Saturday.

Third week in the new TNM Super League season, the derby failed to live to its expectations especially in the first half as few chances were created by both sides.

 Big Bullets Wanderers FC
Bullets and Nomads have played out a goalless draw today

Out on the field, the two teams laboured to break each other down in a game played in oppressive heat and watched by a crowd of around 40, 000.

If derbies have had a reputation for safety-first football, on Saturday, the weather also played a role as both sides attempted to play a high-tempo game in conditions that could only urge a human body toward sluggishness.

But a lot of the time the football too was just plain messy. Not Lionel Messi messy. Just messy.

In the final 15 minutes, as temperatures cooled, especially Bullets found some sort of rhythm and created some close chances to ensure an exciting end of the game as they had two goals disallowed by referee Patrick Ngoleka.

The Nomads were playing with ten men on the field as Bongani Kaipa suffered a hamstring injury and the team had already finished their substitutions.

The 31 degrees Celsius heat that the game started in would have made for difficult conditions for the game to be played at any sort of advanced pace.

In the 10th minute, Bullets forward Chiukepo Msowoya blasted his effort wide off Wanderers’ goal mouth.

At the other end, Esau Kanyenda and Precious Msosa were completely closed down by John Lanjesi’s led defence.

Bullets were forced to make an early substitution when Yamikani Fodya was stretchered off due to an injury and he was replaced by Emmanuel Zoya.

Later, an angled pass from Fischer Kondowe from the right flank of the field put Bright Munthali in the box, whose first touch was too strong and with the second, the winger could not beat Richard Chipuwa.

In the second half, the game slowed as  both sides’ players’ concentration appeared to suffer in the heat, with simple tasks such as completion of passes seemingly becoming onerous.

Henry Kabichi came in for Chimango Kayira while Bongani Kaipa came in for the injured for Wanderers.

Munthali was played into space on the right of Wanderers’ area Lucky Malata coming across to block.

At the other end, Peter Wadabwa made ground on the right and chipped to find substitute Julius Kajembe free, who should not have missed his volley a foot over.

Bullets then introduced Mike Mkwate for Bashir Maunde in the last minutes of the match and his impact was imminent as he made some million dollar passes to put Wanderers on the edge.

The Nomads suffered another blow when Kaipa was stretchered off due to a hamstring injury and the Nomads had already finished their substitutions, forcing them to finish the remaining minutes with ten players.

Bullets almost capitalized and had two goals disallowed by the referee.

The decision by the assistant referee to deny the visitors another goal turned the game ugly as supporters started throwing missiles onto the pitch.

The match had to be delayed for close to 7 minutes and when the play resumed, there was nothing new to add as Ngoleka blew the whistle to mark the end of the match.

The result sees Wanderers and Bullets dropping to third and fourth respectively.