Defending Super League champions Nyasa Big Bullets let a two goal lead slip to draw 2-2 against rookies Savenda Chitipa United on Saturday afternoon at Kamuzu Stadium.
It was a bright start to the contest by the hosts and their good interplay would lead to an early goal from defender Bashir Maunde in the 13th minute.
After a superb corner kick from Yamikani Fodya saw Maunde defying the force of gravity to head past Dalitso Khungwa in goals for the visitors.
Moments later, another beautiful display from Peter Banda, Chimwemwe Idana and Chiukepo Msowoya, the ball was back-heeled into the path of Patrick Phiri who rifled a shot which was well saved by Khungwa.
At the other end, the visitors failed to register even a single attempt on goal as their forward Tinkhane Nyirenda was mostly caught offside by the assistant referee.
Bullets had another glorious opportunity to double their lead when Msowoya set through Banda who wasted no time by sending a dangerous ball into the box but Chitipa’s defense was on full alert to clear the danger away from the box.
Come second half, the hosts introduced Nelson Kangunje for ineffective Hassan Kajoke but their play did not improve especially in the midfield.
The visitors were now coming with full force through Christopher Mtambo who was causing havoc on Bullets’ defense especially where Precious Phiri was operating.
However, the hosts were able to double their tally with a fantastic goal from Idana following an exchange of passes from Kangunje, Msowoya and Banda.
The rookies then introduced Medson Nkhonjera for Lupakisho Mwaluwazingo and they continued to attack in search for goals.
Chitipa United pulled one back on 51st minute through Yotamu Chitete after Bullets’ defense was caught napping.
Things went from bad to worse for the hosts who were forced to substitute Maunde and Banda for Sankhani Mkandawire and Fischer Kondowe following injuries to the duo and this exposed their defense to the visitors who were attacking without fear.
The hosts almost scored their third goal when Idana’s through ball found Phiri one on one with the goalkeeper only to see his effort well saved by Khungwa.
Minutes later, Msowoya missed another clear cut chance as he shot wide from the close range in unbelievable circumstances.
With less than 12 minutes to play, the visitors were level in a brilliant fashion.
Bullets keeper Rabson Chiyenda was caught napping in the line of duty when he left his area, allowing Emmanuel Muyira to score from 30 yards out, sending the whole stadium into a frenzy.
The visitors then introduced Khumbo Banda for Nyirenda as Bullets increased their attacking pace in order to restore their lead.
Twice, Msowoya missed glorious opportunities when he was found unmarked in the box but on both occasions, he blasted his efforts away from Khungwa’s goal area and in the end, the two teams had to share one point a piece.
The draw was a massive setback for the defending champions in their quest to defend their title as they are now stuck on position five with 15 points from eight games.
Out of the possible 12 points from their last four games, Bullets have only managed to collect 6 points giving their rivals an edge in the title race.
As for the rookies, drawing against Bullets was something they had never imagined no wonder they celebrated in front of the home fans who were furious with the result.
Chitipa United are still stuck in the drop zone with 7 points from 11 games and another tough assignment awaits them on Sunday as they will face Mighty Tigers at Mulanje Park Stadium.