Chimwemwe Idana scripted a beautiful picture of the ultimate wonder goal – a combination of power, pace and precision in a beautiful exhibition of his star quality – on Wednesday afternoon at Balaka Stadium to inspire Nyasa Big Bullets to a hard fought 1-0 victory over Dedza Dynamos to move top of the TNM Super League.
The People’s Team looked to make some rotations to their squad as goalkeeper Rabson Chiyenda was given his first start to the season in place of Richard Chimbamba.
Nickson Nyasulu, Kesten Simbi, Patrick Mwaungulu and Hassan Kajoke all came into the starting line-up for Hadji Wali, John Lanjesi, Mphatso Magaleta and Precious Phiri.
Bullets started on the front foot and looked to force an early opener as they dominated ball possession.
In the 11th minute, Mwaungulu and Idana combined well from a corner kick which saw the latter beating Lughano Kayira before sending the ball into the box but Babatunde Adepoju’s goal bound shot was blocked by Matthews Salilana.
Moments later, Idana was at it again when he started an excellent move to Gomezgani Chirwa who used his pace to beat Kayira before a dangerous pass into the box to Mwaungulu who was unmarked but the attacking midfielder, in an unbelievable circumstances, blasted his shot over the cross bar.
At the other end, the hosts were handed a massive chance to open their account when Charles Chipala set through Clement Nyondo who should have done better but his shot went wide off Chiyenda’s goal.
Bullets had an opportunity from a set piece but Mwaungulu stepped up and sent his effort over the cross bar.
Dedza Dynamos’ resilience was finally put to halt on 26th minute when Idana scored a beauty yards out of Donnex Mwakisinga’s goal.
Sambani’s long ball to Babatunde set through Mwaungulu who opened up a shooting space for Idana to control the ball before a rocket which was too much for Mwakisinga, 0-1.
One should have turned to two as Bullets attacked from the right flank through Chirwa who delivered another dangerous pass into the box to Lanjesi Nkhoma who did everything right to smash the ball at goal but he was denied by the post to the relief of the hosts who were completely under pressure.
It was now a one sided affair as Bullets attacked from all angles and they should have found the net again in the 43rd minute through Mwaungulu who made his way into the box before a right footed shot but it missed Mwakisinga’s goal post by an inch.
In the dying minutes, Chiyenda was forced to come out of his comfort zone when he made a save from a freekick but the ball landed directly to Nyondo who had a shot at goal only to be blocked by Chirwa.
In the second half, Stainley Billiat replaced Kajoke to increase the visitors’ attacking options from the right flank.
But Bullets’ pace was slowed down by the hosts who were now showing more anger and attacked their opponents’ half with intent but to unlock Simbi’s led defence proved too difficult for the Dedza based side.
In the 48th minute, Kamwendo delivered a cross into the box to Chipala who headed wide from the close range.
Bullets sensed danger and made a move to the other end through Babatunde to Mwaungulu but the midfielder once again saw his effort going over the cross bar.
Bullets had another chance to double their lead, this time around through Nkhoma whose goal bound shot was deflected into the goal only for Mwakisinga to produce a brilliant save for a corner.
In the 63rd minute, the hosts thought they had scored through Nyondo when he headed home a cross from Lameck Gophani but the second assistant referee’ flag was already up for an offside call.
Bullets had to introduce Thomson Magombo for Mwaungulu on 67th minute to try to regain back the midfield which was now dominated by Edward Dakalira and Gophani.
Babatunde had a very good opportunity to register his name on the scoresheet when Nkhoma’s cross from the left was missed by Mwakisinga, leaving the goal wide open but the forward lacked the finishing composure when his connection went wide.
Chipala was substituted for Gravin Ng’anjo in the 72nd minute.
At the far left, Sambani brought down Gophani for the referee Evidence Kananji to award the hosts a freekick which was delivered into the box by the victim but Kamwendo, without any pressure, headed his effort over Chiyenda’s goal to the disappointment of Dan Dzinkambani’s led technical panel.
Bullets had two back to back opportunities inside the penalty box but Babatunde and Nkhoma were all late to arrive as the ball swerved away from Mwakisinga’s goal area.
With less than six minutes left to play, Billiat’s cross into the box met high pressing Sambani who produced a bullet header but Mwakisinga was well positioned to deny the winger from doubling his side’ tally.
Yankho Singo and Macfallen Mgwira all came in for Nkhoma and Idana.
Despite Dynamos pushing for the equalizer, Bullets’ defense stood firm to collect maximum points and dislodged Blue Eagles at the top with the same number of points (10) but the defending champions have scored more goals than them.
Bullets’ next assignment is on Sunday against Mafco FC at Kamuzu Stadium.