Defending League Champions Nyasa Big Bullets made heavy weather of dismantling a modest Mzuzu Warriors side despite running out a 3-0 winners in Saturday’s TNM Super League match at Kamuzu Stadium in an empty environment.
Clearly the better side in terms of possession and chances created on this afternoon where they moved to 7th position on the standings, Bullets could have embarrassed the opposition by a bigger margin.
All their goals came in the last twenty minutes of the first half courtesy of a double from Zicco Mkanda and a lone strike from Precious Sambani.
Their opponents had played a game on Friday where they won 1-0 but they couldn’t cope with pressure from Bullets who were angry for goals to try to close the gap with the top four teams.
The only realistic chance to the visitors came in the 11th minute when Richard Chimbamba was called into action to produce a fantastic save to deny Steven Madimba from scoring through a freekick.
The visitors made a quick change, bringing on board Lackson Sangano for Brian Mhone.
The hosts were pressing for an opener and they almost found the back of the net in the 24th minute when Mgwira’s pass in the six yard box found Ernest Petro unmarked but the midfielder fired wide off Mapira’s goal posts when he only needed a tap in to put the ball into the net.
However, the visitors’ resilience came to an end in the 30th minute when a cross from Mgwira into the box was controlled by Petro before feeding Zicco Mkanda who made a simple finish to put the host in the lead, 1-0.
Mkanda had another goal disallowed for offside in the 34th minute from yet another pass from Mgwira, who was causing havoc to the visiting side.
The People’s Team were not yet done as they doubled their lead in the 36th minute through Mkanda who headed past Mapira from another assist from Mgwira, 2-0.
As Bullets were still celebrating, it was 3-0 in the 37th minute.
A brilliant work from Meshack Selemani to the left flank saw him delivering a low cross pass into the box to Precious Sambani who wasted no time by smashing the ball past defenseless Mapira to make it 3-0 within the space period of seven minutes after the half-hour mark.
Towards the end of the half, Bullets were awarded a freekick on the edge of the box following a foul on Seleman but Mgwira’s shot just missed the upright with an inch.
In the second half, Bullets seemed to have slowed down, with the key battle in the middle of the field.
The visitors made two changes in the name of Sheltin Banda and Dan Siwale who came in for Precious Washari and Elia Munthali.
The first attempt at goal in the half came from Taniel Mhango who unleashed a powerful shot which was blocked by Mkandawire for a corner.
The second half lacked firepower, with the visitors pushing for a goal to reduce the arrears but they couldn’t unlock the hosts’ defence which defended with everything to protect Chimbamba.
In the 64th minute, Gift Kasambara missed an opportunity when his free header was tipped over the cross bar by Chimbamba for a corner.
The People’s Team made their first two changes in the 65th minute when Chiukepo Msowoya and another debutant Lanjesi Nkhoma came in for Mkanda and Selemani.
Bullets created their first clear chance when Chimwemwe Idana and Petro exchanged passes to play through Ngwira who blasted his effort over the cross bar.
Some of Bullets’ misses were so disappointing that they tested the patience of Assistant Coach Peter Mponda, who shouted from his technical area in utter frustration.
At one stage in the half, Msowoya and Nkuoma found themselves inside the box but they dilly-dallied with short passes in front of the Mzuzu Warriors defenders before they were dispossessed, when taking responsibility with a shot seemed a better option.
Miracle Gabeya and Yamikani Fodya came in for Sambani and Lanjesi whilst Collen Nkhulambe was introduced for the visitors for Kasambara.
Chimbamba almost conceded an own goal when his directed pass to Mpokera passed through his goal line before going out for a corner from which the hosts were able to clear.
Final Bullets substitute came in the 73rd minute when Chimango Kayira replaced the injured Petro.
It was now the turn of Nkhoma to add spice to his Bullets debut with a goal but his shot was well saved by Mapira in the 83rd minute for a corner.
The visitors’ keeper Mapira couldn’t continue as he sustained an injury after he collided with Msowoya and he was replaced by a field player as Mzuzu Warriors had already run out of substitutes.
In the additional minute, Msowoya should have registered his name on the scoresheet but his effort went over the crossbar in an unbelievable circumstances.
In the end, Bullets collected maximum points to move to seventh position with one more game to play against the number one team.
In other match, Kamuzu Barracks and Blue Eagles played to a goalless draw at Civo Stadium.
The result sees the 2016 league winners stuck on 12th position with ten points from nine games whilst the Area 30 based side are 10th with eleven points from eleven games.
All the matches are being played in empty Stadiums following Government’s decision to maintain the gazzeted laws which restrict any public gathering to just 50 people.