Civil Sporting Club’s unbeaten run in the 2020/21 TNM Super League season came to an end following a 2-1 defeat to Nyasa Big Bullets at Kamuzu Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The Lilongwe based side came into the match with their shoulders high as they were the only side yet to taste a defeat but they met their match as they completely failed to turn up for the match.
The hosts were in total control of the possession but to unlock Lawrence Chaziya’s led defence proved too difficult for the defending champions.
Closest chance in the opening minutes fell to Idana who was laid off by Chiukepo Msowoya only to see his goal bound shot well blocked by Chaziya.
As the hosts were pressuring, it was Civil who took a very surprising lead in a brilliant fashion.
Nickson Nyasulu handled the ball outside the penalty box for the referee to award the visitors a freekick.
Muhammad Sulumba stepped up and unleashed a powerful shot which went past the wall and Richard Chimbamba before hitting the back of the net, 0-1.
However, the lead only lasted for a minute as Bullets leveled the scoreline.
A quick throw in from Precious Sambani to Msowoya caught the visitors napping in the line of duty from which the forward released a powerful shot past Charles Swini into the net, 1-1.
Bullets were in full dominance of the match through their midfield maestro Idana who controlled the midfield to the delight of the few fans who were allowed to watch the match.
In the 36th minute, Bullets almost doubled their lead but MacFallen Ngwira was too slow on the ball when he was found unmarked in the six-yard box to allow Swini regroup before making a clearance.
Pasuwa made his first substitution in the 43rd minute when he brought in Meshack Seleman for ineffective Chima.
There was nothing more to write towards the last minutes of the half.
After the recess, Pasuwa made another change by bringing in Ernest Petro for Nelson Kangunje as he tried to increase his attacking artillery in search for the much needed goal.
Unlike the first half, the second half wasn’t entertaining as Bullets struggled to replicate their form and created fewer chances than expected despite having more attackers in the field.
Ngwira, twice, failed to capitalize when he was found unmarked in the right flank of the field but his decisions saw the ball going out for a goal kick to disappoint the few spectators who were allowed to watch the match.
On 62nd minute, Msowoya had his goal allowed for offside by referee Evidence Kananji.
As the clock was ticking fast, the hosts made a double substitution, taking out Msowoya and Ngwira for Hassan Kajoke and Mkanda in 65th minute.
At the other end, the visitors created their only chance in the half when a cross from Chikondi Maloya made its way to Bullets’ penalty box in the 73rd minute and was directed at Lanken Mwale but John Lanjesi was right on spot to make a very good clearance and the resultant shot from Blessing Tembo missed the goal mouth with just an inch.
The visitors made four substitutions, with Mathews Zaulombo, Henry Msowoya, Binwel Katinji and Dan Kumwenda all coming in for the injured Damiano Kunje, Sulumba, Mwale and Innocent Tanganyika.
The more Bullets kept on pushing for the winning goal, the more Civil Sporting Club defended with everything to frustrate the home team.
Just when everyone thought the game was heading to a draw, Bullets banged in the winning goal in the 87th minute.
A corner from Petro to Idana laid out to Sambani who swerved into Civil’s penalty box before releasing a powerful shot which passed through Civil’s defence before hitting the back of the net to send everyone inside the Stadium into a fenzy.
Bullets made their final substitution in the 90th minute when Seleman was stretched off after he was injured by Dickson and he was replaced by Ben Manyozo.
Three minutes on the clock, the visitors tried to push for an equalizer but Bullets stood firm to collect all the important points to move second into the standings with 25 points from twelve games.
As for Civil, the defeat sees them dropping into the third position with 24 points from thirteen games.
The win sees Bullets closing the gap with log leaders to just three points with three games to go before wrapping up the first round.
In another match, Gregory Nachipo scored the only goal to end Kamuzu Barracks’ winless run as they defeated Chitipa United at Nankhaka Stadium.
The result takes the Lilongwe based Soldiers to 12th position with thirteen points from twelve games whilst Chitipa United has dropped into 13th with the same number of points from fourteen games.
The action continues on Sunday with two entertaining fixtures.
Log leaders Silver Strikers have a chance of extending their lead at the top when they host Chitipa United at Silver Stadium while Blue Eagles can move out of the relegation zone if they can manage a victory over Mafco FC at Nankhaka Stadium.
Picture credit: Nnyasa Big Bullets