Nyasa Big Bullets were held to a 0-0 draw by FC Platinum in the first leg the CAF Champions League preliminary round played at Kamuzu Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The hosts made two changes to the side that defeated Silver Strikers in the league, bringing Ernest Kakhobwe and Chiukepo Msowoya for Rabson Chiyenda and Bright Munthali.
Bullets’s first shot in anger fell to Hassan Kajoke in the 14th minute but it wouldn’t have counted as first assistant referee Arsenio Chadreque raised his flag for offside.
Bullets were nervous to attack as they defended with caution no wonder they made more passes in their half.
At the other end, Lameck Nhamo produced the best out of Kakhobwe when his long range drive was equally saved by the former Mighty Tigers goalkeeper.
Mike Mkwate, Idana, Chimango Kayira and Peter Banda were a marvel to watch but lacked the cutting edge as they failed to unlock the visitor’s solid defense which was being led by Raphael Muduviwa, William Stima, Rainsome Pavari and Gift Mbweti.
Platinum FC had another chance shortly after as Albert Eonde let fly from range, but Nickson Nyasulu was on point to block the goal bound shot.
The game continued to ebb and flow, with few chances coming at either end of the pitch in what was a thrill-a-minute battle.
In the second half, Bullets ramped up the pressure in the first ten minutes when Idana’s led midfield pressed harder in search for the much needed goal.
Banda was found unmarked just outside the penalty box only to fire a weak shot at Walace Magalane who made an easy save.
Moments later, Msowoya’s bicycle kick forced Magalane into making a save.
Munthali was introduced for Mkwate while Mkhokheli Dube came in for Nhamo.
Banda was again denied by Magalane, who was well positioned to keep out the lively winger’s crisply left foot drive.
As the match was progressing, chances dried up with both teams reluctant to throw bodies forward in attack.
Bullets made their final substitution by introducing Patrick Phiri for Kajoke, with Devon Giafa replacing Hagiazo Magaya for the visitors.
With less than five minutes to play, Bullets almost got the opener when Msowoya fed Munthali who produced a brilliant connection only to be denied by the woodwork in unbelievable circumstances and in the end, both teams settled for a draw ahead of the second leg on 24th August in Zimbabwe.
The winner of the two-legged qualifier will play either Simba FC of Tanzania or Uniao Desportiva do Songo of Mozambique in the next stage.