Phiri scores the first goal for Simba (Image: Simba SC)
Nyasa Big Bullets began the 2022 TotalEnergies CAF Champions League campaign with a 2-0 home defeat against Simba SC at the Bingu National Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
For most of the opening minutes, both teams played out a cautious game that a real chance was hardly there to note.
To set up the true tone of the match, the Tanzanian side put themselves in front through their forward Moses Phiri, who turned home a free kick with a double kick just before the half-hour mark.
Looking for a quick reply, Pasuwa was forced to make a double first-half substitution. The duo of Lanjesi Nkhoma and Patrick Mwaungulu, who have been brilliant for Bullets in the domestic competition, were replaced by Hassan Kajoke and McFallen Mgwira.
Nonetheless, Simba, who lead the Tanzanian Super League after playing three games, still claimed their spells of authority in the game that the fever-pitched first half came to an end with the score-line still at 0-1.
Unlike the way they started the game, The People’s Team came back from the break carrying the attacking edge when going forward.
From near the halfway line, substitute Kajoke paced into the box but instead of trying his luck at goal produced a heavy-touched pass across the goal mouth, unfortunately, his teammates could not meet.
In the 65th minute, Bullets were fractious away from the equalizing goal but Precious Sambani’s header narrowly skewed away from the post.
A few minutes later, Sambani got on the end of a beautifully chipped free kick from replacement Henry Kabichi, but the wingback saw his touch miss the target by a few inches again.
However, in the pursuit of the equalizing goal, Bullets were dealt with a nasty blow as the visitors doubled their lead with 10 minutes to go.
Having failed to deal with a long ball from the visitors’ half, Bullets’ defense was caused problems in the box by Simba striking force. Arriving in the box, Simba’s John Bocco was set up with a cut-in pass from his opponent down the right and the striker sent the ball into the bottom far corner to make it 0-2.
Conceding the second goal that late did not force the home side to put hands up in surrender as the team continued fighting to get something from the game. Unfortunately, all Bullets’ late chances came to waste.
Everything went against The People’s team on Saturday, but the story is far from its final full stop as the return leg awaits a week from now at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium in Dar Es Salaam where the fate of the two teams in this preliminary stage of this competition will be decided.
Source: Bullets media