Nyasa Big Bullets league juggernaut continued unabated as they hammered Ekwendeni Hammers 3-1 at Kamuzu Stadium on Saturday afternoon to maintain their perfect start to the 2022 Super League season.
The hosts had no game last week due to the National Team engagements whilst the visitors were coming from a 2-2 draw with Mafco FC last week.
It was a slow start to action from the home side and they nearly conceded in the 7th minute when Singo lost possession to Isaac Msiska who was quick to set through Michael Tetteh but the forward’ shot swerved away from Richard Chimbamba’s goal area.
Moments later, Lanjesi Nkhoma beat the offside trap to find himself in a one on one situation with goalkeeper Chancy Mtete and the striker did everything right by volleying the ball over the shot-stopper but he was denied by the upright.
The visitors made their first substitution just after 17 minutes when Edson Kadenge Mwafulirwa brought in Samson Banda for Mathews Banda.
Bullets then settled down and pressed for the opener but Babatunde Adepoju failed to tap in a Yankho Singo’ low cross pass into the box when Hammers’ defence was caught unaware from a brilliant counter-attacking football which was orchestrated by Gomezgani Chirwa and Chimwemwe Idana.
However, Bullets made a breakthrough in the 32nd minute through Mgwira.
An excellent run from Adepoju saw him delivering the ball to Nkhoma who was on the edge of the penalty box and the forward unleashed a powerful shot which was well saved by Mtete only to land straight at the advanced Mgwira who just made a simple finish into the net,1-0.
This goal was what the home team was looking for to ease the pressure which was slowly mounting from the fans.
With five minute to break, the visitors almost equalized when Samson Banda made a good run to the right flank of the northern goal area before sending a very dangerous cross into the box but there was no one from Ekwendeni Hammers to finish off the ball and that was all for the half.
In the second half, Mwafulirwa made his second change when he introduced Edgar Mgagana for Yasin Rashid as he tried to close all the spaces and create some goal scoring opportunities for his side.
But the mistake the visitors did was to sit back and ended up inviting more pressure from Bullets players who were attacking from all cylinders.
Having applied more pressure, The People’s Team doubled their lead in the 56th minute from a brilliant and entertaining move.
Precious Sambani, Nkhoma and Idana were all involved with their passing football before invading Hammers’ penalty box and forced them to commit an error from which Adepoju capitalized with an easy finish, 2-0.
The goal woke up a sleeping serpent who kept on pushing and pressuring the visitors but Adepoju’ goal in the 60th minute was ruled for offside by first assistant referee Happiness Mbandambanda.
Sixty five minutes into the half, Adepoju should have doubled his tally but his connection from Chirwa’s cross just missed Mtete’ right hand goal post with an inch.
The visitors then made their three final changes when Mabuchi Msiska, Samson Chiona and Emmanuel Kanthiti replaced Richard Lapson, Msiska and Chembezi Chihoma.
Soon after this change, Chiona reduced the arrears in the 68th minute after the home team failed to stop Tetteh’s pass into the box, 2-1.
The goal rejuvenated the visitors and were very hopeful of staging a comeback but Tetteh’s diving header from an offside position was well challenged by Chimbamba.
With pressure now mounting on Bullets, Pasuwa made a double substitution when he introduced Hassan Kajoke and Stainley Billiat for Mgwira and Nkhoma.
Billiat had an imminent impact as his cross into the box nearly caught Mtete’ napping in the line of duty but Adepoju was very slow to react, allowing Hammers to survive from the situation.
But Bullets restored their lead in the 83rd minute through Kajoke who was assisted by Idana from a well calculated counter-pressing football, 3-1.
Pasuwa then brought in Anthony Mfune for Babatunde Adepoju and handed Thomson Magombo his first appearance for the team following his promotion from the Reserves when he replaced Henry Kabichi.
Magombo should have made his debut in a style when he connected well Chirwa’ cross but he was denied by the upright and in the end, Bullets collected maximum points to move within the top three with one game less than the two teams above.
Elsewhere, Red Lions’ maintained their good start to the new season when they registered a comfortable 2-0 win over Mafco FC to move second in the standings with seven points from three games.
All the goals came in the second half through Chikoti Chirwa and Ronald Pangani.
This means Mafco FC are still winless in three games and have one point after starting the campaign with a 1-0 home defeat to early pacesetters Blue Eagles FC before drawing 2-2 with Ekwendeni Hammers.
The action continues on Sunday with the Capital City derby between Silver Strikers and Civil Service United highlighting week three of the top flight football.
The two teams will battle it out for points at Silver Stadium.
At Mulanje Park, winless Sable Farming will be hoping to register their first win when they host Ekwendeni Hammers while Waka Waka Tigers will entertain Mighty Wanderers FC at Mpira Stadium.
The final match of the day will see Dedza Dynamos welcoming Kamuzu Barracks at Balaka Stadium.