It is becoming a matter of when and not if Mama will give Nyasa Big Bullets and their fans the signal to collect their fourteenth TNM Super League title.
Their hard fought 1-0 win, courtesy of a second half header from Nelson Kangunje against resilient Blue Eagles on Saturday afternoon at Nankhaka Stadium enhanced their status as Super League champions-elect as they opened up a 6 point lead and a 12 point lead over Silver Strikers and Be Forward Wanderers respectively.
Just like the way an assassin uses a noise free silencer rifle to eliminate his/her target, Kangunje silenced Eagles at their own backyard to give Bullets a massive advantage with less than six games left to play.
As a result of this win, the people’s team need only to win their next three games to wrap up the championship at the expense of Wanderers who won the title last year.
Calisto Pasuwa’s men showed no signs of fatique, with Chimango Kayira, Chiukepo Msowoya and Bashir Maunde playing with intent to frustrate the hosts.
The visitors created lots of goal scoring opportunities especially in the first half but Msowoya and Patrick Phiri kept on misfiring.
Eagles created their first opportunity through Maxwell Salambula who headed wide from Micium Mhone’s cross.
The hosts then launched a stunning counter hurricane attack from the wings through Gregory Nachipo and Mhone but Pachalo Kumilonde was too slow to arrive on the ball, allowing Maunde to make a last minute intervention.
Despite all the pressure on Eagles, Bullets failed to beat John Soko who made some brilliant stops and it was goalless on half time.
Come second half, Pasuwa brought in Fischer Kondowe for Phiri while Deklerk Msakakuona introduced Patrick Rudi for Beston Jimu.
Bullets should have found the opener in the 63rd minute when Kangunje’s through ball found Msowoya in a very promising position but the former Orlando Pirates forward blasted his effort wide off Soko’s goal area to disappoint the visiting fans.
MacPhallen Mgwira was then substituted for Mussa Manyenje while Pilirani Zonda was replaced by Miracle Gabeya, with Mhone limping off the pitch and he was replaced by Stewart Mbunge.
Bullets applied consistent pressure on Eagles with most of their attacks coming through the midfield from Kabichi, Kangunje, Kayira and Kondowe but lady luck wasn’t on their side as they kept on squandering chances through Msowoya.
However, despite Eagles’ stubbornness, the log leaders broke the deadlock with 12 minutes to play when a million dollar cross from Kondowe found Kangunje in the box who sent goalkeeper Soko the wrong way to send the stadium into a fenzy.
Bullets’ celebration almost ended in disarray when Mbunge combined well with Salambula only to see the latter shooting straight at Ernest Kakhobwe in goals for Bullets.
The hosts tried their level best to level the scoreline but Bullets held on to a significant step towards the title.
The win takes Bullets to 58 points from 24 games and they are yet to taste defeat in the league.
As for the Area 30 side, the defeat is a massive blow in their quest for a top four finish as they drop further into 6th position with 34 points from 27 games.