Lions succumb to Bullets wounds

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First half strikes from Babatunde Adepoju and Chimwemwe Idana handed Nyasa Big Bullets a deserved 2-0 victory over Red Lions at Balaka Stadium to extend their unbeaten run in the TNM Super League to ten games and dislodge Blue Eagles FC from the top of the summit.

Head coach Kalisto Pasuwa made three changes to the side that won 1-0 at Civo Stadium last week, with Blessings Mpokera, Hadji Wali and Richard Chimbamba all starting for Henrry Kabichi, Nickson Nyasulu and Rabson Chiyenda who got a red card.

It didn’t take the People’s Team long to get warmed up as they pressed for an early goal through Patrick Mwaungulu, Babatunde, Lanjesi Nkhoma and Chimwemwe Idana.
Six minutes into the match, Red Lions goalkeeper Jacob Kaunda produced a double save to deny Mwaungulu and Babatunde from finding the back of the net when the duo were set through by Gomezgani Chirwa.

Moments later, Kaunda was at it again with another important save to deny Babatunde from scoring after the forward was found unmarked in the attacking zone by Idana following a mistake from Chikoti Chirwa.

But despite Kaunda’s outstanding performance between the two sticks, Bullets’ breakthrough arrived in the 15th minute when Babatunde was brought down by the goalkeeper in the penalty box, leaving referee Gift Chicco with no choice but to point straight to the spot from which the forward stepped up to slot the ball home, 0-1.

This goal made things very difficult for the Zomba based side who were failing to slow down Bullets’ pace originating from the wings.

In the 25th minute, Mwaungulu once again forced Kaunda into action with a save from a freekick committed by Mwetse on Chirwa.

With more pressure mounting on the hosts, coach Nelson Chirwa made a double substitution on 32 minutes by introducing Royal Bokosi and Duncain Mwale for Chirwa and Kariwo Harawa.

This change brought some stability to Red Lions especially in the midfield where Bullets dominated from the word go.

Chimbamba, who was at ease the most part of of the opening minutes, was called into action twice to deny Mwetse from scoring through two set pieces.

With two minutes added to the clock, Bullets doubled their lead in a brilliant fashion.

The ball originated from the left flank to Ernest Petro who switched the ball to the advanced Idana who made no mistake to smash the ball past Kaunda into the net, 0-2.

After the recess, Pasuwa brought in Hassan Kajoke for Nkhoma to try to add more firepower up front.

But this half belonged to the hosts who came out with full force in order to get something out of the game.

In the 49th minute, Pilirani Thulu made a good run to the right before sending the ball into the box but Wali, who was very outstanding at the back, made a timely intervention.

Moments later, Willard John delivered a very dangerous ball into the box to Bokosi who did everything right but his header went wide off Chimbamba’s goal posts to the relief of the visitors who were now under siege.

Bokosi was posing more threat to Bullets and he had another attempt after the hour-mark but his acrobatic shot skyrocketed over Chimbamba’s goal.

The two teams made double substitutions in the 70th minute when Kanyumba and Patrick Rudi repaced Andrew Biyo and James Brown whilst Yankho Singo and Macfallen Mgwira came in for replaced Mwaungulu Idana, 0-2.

Willard had a goal bound shot blocked by Kesten Simbi in the 72nd minute.

The Soldiers had another opportunity from a set piece close to Bullets’ penalty box but Willard blasted his effort over the crossbar for a goalkick.

Former Bullets midfielder Paul Kansungwi replaced Newman Mwansamale and his involvement was in the 80th minute when he was brought down by Mgwira, allowing Mwetse to deliver the ball into the box but Chimbamba was equal to the task.

Towards the last eight minutes of the match, Bullets had few chances but Red Lions’s defence was well organized but the first half strikes were enough to inspire Bullets to a convincing win, dislodging Eagles with 26 points though the area 30 based side will play their tenth match on Sunday against Dedza Dynamos.

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