Henry Kabichi scored the only goal to inspire FCB Nyasa Big Bullets to a hard-fought 1-0 victory away to Silver Strikers on Sunday afternoon as part of this year’s Kamuzu day celebrations organized by Malawi Government.
The match, which was played for 50 minutes due to limited time, lived up to its billing as the two teams gave everything in front of Malawi leader, Lazarus Chakwera.
The two teams made wholesale changes to their squads by giving chances to fringe players and those that have just recovered from injuries.
The first half belonged to Silver Strikers who had mastered the art of playing at a dry surface.
But despite dominating, they failed to register even a single shot at goal as John Lanjesi’s defense, featuring Yamikani Fodya, Nickson Nyasulu and Gomezgani Chirwa, used experience to halt every threat posed by Chinsinsi Maonga, Uchizi Vunga and Tatenda M’balaka.
At the other end, the visitors also had a share of ball possession through Chawanangwa Gumbo, Kabichi, Precious Sambani and Anthony Mfune but to break down a Chisomo Mpachika’s back-four proved to be a huge task for the men in red and white and the first half ended goalless.
In the second half, Bullets only needed a minute to make a breakthrough.
Kenneth Pasuwa’s well taken corner kick was cleared by Mpachika but the ball landed straight at Kabichi who was calm before releasing a thunderous shot to beat Pilirani Mapira into the net, 0-1.
Bullets were pressing for the second goal and they should have had another one three minutes later when Sambani’s long range shot missed Mapira’s upright post with just a small inch.
At the other end, Rodwell Robert was set through by Vunga but the forward’ shot was easily saved by Clever Mkungula.
Pasuwa brought in Righteous Banda and Yankho Singo for Chinedu Okafor and Gumbo to try to neutralize the Bankers’ midfield.
Mkungula was called into action again in the 42nd minute when he used his height advantage to take charge of a very dangerous cross from Maonga which was bound to find Rodwell who placed himself within a shooting range inside the six-yard box.
The clock was ticking very fast for Pieter De Jongh’s charges, but it was favorable for Pasuwa who was just waiting for the final whistle.
With a minute added to the clock, Bullets players successfully managed to kill time and walked out of a fully packed Civo Stadium with a win.
The People’s Team will return to Lilongwe this coming weekend for their Super League assignment against Civil Service United at Civo Stadium on Sunday, whilst Silver will travel to Dedza to face Dedza Dynamos at Dedza Stadium.
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