A second-half strike from substitute Bright Munthali gave Nyasa Big Bullets a 1-0 win over Kamuzu Barracks in their second pre-season match played at Civo Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
This was Bullets’ second pre-season win in the two matches played in readiness for the 2020/21 soccer season which kicks off next week.
Munthali’s understanding with Gomezgani Chirwa was perhaps the highlight of the match and the pair created clear cut goal scoring chances before the strike which came towards the end of the match.
Coach Kalisto Pasuwa made three changes to the side that won 1-0 against Ntopwa FC last week, handing starts to Precious Phiri, Zicco Mkanda and Azizi Mwakifuna.
Bullets struggled in the early minutes of the match due to the condition of the pitch but slowly came back into the action through Ernest Petro and Henry Kabichi.
The closest chance came after 28 minutes when Petro made his way into the box before sending a low cross drive which found Precious Phiri unmarked but his shot was well saved by the hosts’ goalkeeper.
At the other end of the field, Kelvin Hanganda forced Richard Chimbamba into action when his cross inside the penalty box almost landed in the path Gregory Nachipo but the goalkeeper was quick to save the situation for the People’s team.
The energetic hosts grew into somewhat scrappy game and began to edge proceedings but to unlock Ben Manyozo’s led defence proved too futile.
Pasuwa’e side continued to struggle to find their rhythm against the team eager to make an impression and were indebted to a smart save from Chimbamba just before the recess. The goalkeeper blocked Nachipo’s low, hard shot at the near post after the winger had broken through the left of his defence.
In the second half, it was almost similar to the opening half as the midfield battle intensified but to break the goal scoring jinx proved too difficult for both sides.
Pasuwa made five changes in the 66th minute when Patrick Phiri, Pilirani Zonda, Ben Manyozo, Zicco Mkanda and Petro paved the way for Luke Chima, Bright Munthali, Nelson Kangunje and Gomezgani Chirwa.
Bullets started to dominate through Chirwa and Munthali who kept Nashon Harazi and Mike Ntonyo busy throughout the remaining minutes.
Bullets had a very good scoring chance when Kangunje combined well with Chima before releasing Munthali who blasted wide from the close range.
The people’s team was able to break the deadlock in the 81st with a brilliant goal.
Chirwa was fouled on the far right of the penalty box from which Kabichi stepped up to deliver the set piece to Munthali who made no mistake by heading past the hosts’ goalkeeper, 1-0.
Pasuwa made his final two changes when he brought in Mike Mkwate and MacPhallen Mgwira for Precious Phiri.
The pair combined well moments after coming in when Mgwira delivered a million-dollar pass into the box only for Mkwate to curl his effort just over the bar when the goalkeeper was nowhere near his goal line.
As Kamuzu Barracks hoped for an equalizer, Bullets stood firm at the back to register their second pre-season win before travelling to Chitowe on Sunday for their final pre-season match against MAFCO FC.
In other friendly match, Blue Eagles recorded a 1-nil victory over TN Stars at Kasungu Stadium.