Highs and lows of Bullets’ defeat to Simba

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Nyasa Big Bullets on Saturday opened their 2022/23 TotalEnergies CAF Champions League campaign with a 0-2 home defeat at the hands of Simba Sports Club from neighbouring Tanzania.

With this result, Kalisto Pasuwa’s men will go into the second leg at Benjamin Mkapa Stadium in Dar es Salaam this coming weekend with no pressure, something that might work to The People’s Team’s advantage if the necessary tactics are put into play.

In a game of few chances, one thing that was noticeable from afar was that the home side failed to stamp its authority on the match the whole first half. The visitors dominated the proceedings, bossing around the game with unmatched condescension.

From sleek movements and passes transitioning from defence to attack all the way to making numerous goal attempts in the opening stages, Simba looked a well-oiled machine with Bullets players second on the ball, chasing shadows all afternoon.

Apparently, the home side gave a little too much respect to their princely opponents who took advantage of the stage fright among some of the Bullets players to press and cause problems for the home team.

Moses Phiri’s bicycle kick goal on the half-hour mark was a bad omen that made life difficult for Bullets during moments of disarray in attack, especially from the wings where supply lines were choked off by the Tanzanian side’s experience and organization in pushing forward.

A few things need to be put into perspective though; the visitors were more fluent and offensive right from the start of the match played in front of a partisan crowd full of expectations for the local runaway league leaders and defending champions.

Ironically, Pasuwa on paper started with a more offensive formation.

Four defenders were deployed in on-field leader John Lanjesi marshalling the rearguard alongside Kesten Simbi, versatile wingbacks Gomezgani Chirwa and Precious Sambani.

Pasuwa packed his midfield with five men in a diamond formation where former reservist and returnee Frank Willard held the deep six hole while Ernest Petro and Chimwemwe Idana completed the mid-park triangle as rookies Patrick Mwaungulu and pacy Lanjesi Nkhoma manned the wings with Nigerian Babatunde Adepoju as the main target man upfront.

Intentionally this formation was aimed at increasing personnel driving forward into attacking positions but a combination of Simba’s tactical approach and failure to implement the game plan warded off all efforts by the home side to register any meaningful attack in the first half, where Adepoju was apparently cut off and isolated rendering him ineffective.

Changes made by Pasuwa bringing in McFallen Mgwira and Hassan Kajoke before the break brought some spark to the home team’s play. No wonder Bullets started the second half with more belief and purpose, taking the game to their opponents.

A few chances were created with Sambani, Idana and Adepoju all missing the target. Only if Bullets had converted one of these chances, the complexion of the game would have drastically changed.

Lack of composure in front of the goal proved decisive at this stage of the game. Meanwhile, the visitors were more patient as they endured Bullets’ attacks with patience and got a second goal on the break through and that was game over.

On the overall, The People’s Team’s play especially in the second half showed a lot of promise. With tactical discipline, the team can get a result on Sunday in Tanzania against a charged side oozing with confidence.

To Bullets’ gladiators; nothing is impossible on this journey. The boys have what it takes to put up a fight in Dar es Salaam. There is a need to refocus and play to instructions.

Source: Bullets media

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2 Comments

  1. All the best Maule…..every game is a new game!!!! You can make it and you can punish Simba, trust yourself, never worship them again.

  2. All in all congratulations to @simbascc for grabbing this narrow but important away win against a very organised and strong team. Coming second leg won’t be easy for either of the two especially knowing that big bullets have nothing to lose and they’ll come with detonators to explode themselves on the field trying to get back the results on their favor. But for sure, it will be very difficult for them and too tricky. Simba remember they were eliminated by Jwanang galaxy last year after coming away with a win only to be surprised at home, therefore I am very confident they’ll not let such heartbreaking results to happen again.
    Secondly, if you look at what @simbascc have been doing in international games at their own ground, tells you how terrific they are when playing home. For them winning at home is a norm and losing its a curse!
    Thirdly, the huge turns of their supporters at home is another fear factor for big bullets. They have a very big fan base at home who always turns in numbers to cheer up their team!.
    I would say, it is goin to be a great match but sorry to say goodbye @Bigbullets, try next season!.

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