Nyasa Big Bullets have opened a five-point lead at the top of the 2020/21 TNM Super League with a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Civil Sporting Club as one of their major rivals stumbled in their title bid.
The People’s Team started brightly and took the lead in the 11th minute courtesy of Mike Mkwate who capitalized on a defensive relapse from the hosts’ defence after they failed to clear Eric Kaonga’s corner kick, 0-1.
However, the lead only lasted for three minutes as the visitors leveled through Muhammad Sulumba’s header in the 14th minute, 1-1.
The hosts were now dominating, especially through Lanken Mwale, Damian Kunje and Sulumba who were pressing for the much-needed goals but they struggled to penetrate in the final third of their attacking zone.
In the 25th minute, Civil Sporting introduced Dan Kumwenda for Anzeru Joseph as they tried to increase their attacking options.
Bullets had their closest chance towards the end of the half through Mgwira whose shot went over the cross bar.
In the second half, Bullets started brightly through Mkwate, Chimwemwe Idana, Mgwira and Kaonga but to unlock Lawrence Chaziya’s led defence proved too difficult for the Blantyre based giants.
In the 50th minute, Blessings Mpokera forced Charles Swini into making a save for a corner which was completely missed by Mkandawire in the six-yard box.
In the 58th minute, Pasuwa brought in Gomezgani Chirwa and Mkanda for Chimango Kayira and Precious Phiri to try to add fire power up front as the visitors were desperately looking for the winning goal.
At the other end, Bullets nearly got punished when Ibrahim Sadik delivered a brilliant cross into the box which almost landed straight at Sulumba but Nickson Nyasulu was quick to arrive to clear the ball away from the penalty box.
Bullets had another corner in the 68th minute and this time, Kaonga curved the ball at Swini who struggled to make a clearance but he was lucky to survive as Bullets had no one close to tap the ball into the net.
Civil made another change, introducing Innocent Tanganyika for Isaac Msiska.
The moment that the visitors were waiting for arrived in the 77th minute through Mkanda who powered in a Mgwira’s corner kick to send the whole Stadium into frenzy, 1-2.
This was what Bullets needed and they made sure to defend the lead throughout by holding on to the ball and gave no room to the hosts who were still pressing for a late comeback.
Bright Munthali then came in for Mkwate to try to close down any loopholes as the clock was now ticking in favor of the visitors and after 90 minutes of play, Bullets carried the day with a hard-fought but sweet victory over Civil Sporting Club.
This means Bullets have done a double over the Lilongwe based side. The result sees Bullets opening up a five point lead over the second placed Silver Strikers FC.
The People’s Team have 45 points from 21 games, a game more than the team below them.
At Kamuzu Stadium, Be Forward Wanderers registered a hard-fought 3-2 victory over relegation threatened Mzuzu Warriors to cement their position in the standings.
Babatunde Adepoju gave the hosts a lead in the first half before a cancellation from Uchizi Vunga in the same half. The Nomads then restored their lead through a penalty which was scored by Francis Mulimbika.
But the visitors were at it again, leveling the scoreline through Taniel Mhango. However, Wanderers scored the third and winning goal through Peter Wadabwa to take their points to 37.
As for Mzuzu Warriors, the defeat sees them stuck in the drop zone with 15 points from 20 games.