Bullets survive Civil scare, Dedza Dynamos hold Silver Strikers


A 30-yard ferocious shot from Patrick Mwaungulu helped defending champions, FCB Nyasa Big Bullets, to earn a point over Civil Service United and return to the top of the table on goal difference.

The hosts were coming from a 1-0 defeat away to Karonga United whilst Bullets were 2-0 winners over Bangwe All Stars last week.

It was a game that was open to both teams. Being a bumpy and dry pitch, the hosts were very comfortable as they exchanged passes in the opening minutes through Chikaiko Batison, Binwell Katinji, Patrick Phiri and Moses Banda, but, they were finding it very difficult to unlock Lanjesi’s led defense.

At the other end, Mwaungulu produced an individual brilliance in the 7th minute when he got the better of Timothy Silwimba before finding Maxwell Phodo inside the six-yard box, but the forward’ goal-bound tap in was well blocked by John Dambuleni for a corner kick which almost gave Bullets a lead, but Blessings Mpokera fired over the crossbar when Civil’s defense failed to clear the set piece.

Bullets then lost possession inside Civil’s half to Phiri who launched a stunning counter-hurricane attack and his throughball caught Lanjesi napping in the line of duty and found Katinji who just made a simple tap in, beating Richard Chimbamba who was also out of his goal line, 1-0.

Civil thought they had scored another goal when John Lanjesi collided with his goalkeeper Richard Chimbamba, but Referee Alfred Chilinda blew his whistle against the hosts who had already placed the ball into the net, a decision that was protested by Oscar Kaunda’s led technical panel.

The visitors were given an opportunity to level from a freekick, but Mwaungulu’s shot hit Dambuleni for another cornerkick, which was easily cleared by Kaunda’s charges.

Pasuwa brought in Ephraim Kondowe and Mkwate for Banda and Lanjesi Nkhoma to try to regain control of the midfield, which was mostly dominated by the hosts.

The two changes brought some rhythm to the game as Bullets kept on pushing for an equalizer, but Civil’s defense stood firm to keep their lead intact.

On the stroke of half-time, Alick Lungu produced a powerful shot, but he was denied by Tione Tembo in goal for the Servants, and that was all for the half.

After the recess, Gomezgani Chirwa replaced Frank Willard, forcing Mpokera to move into the middle of the field as one way of improving the attacking prowess.

It only took less than 40 seconds for Bullets to level. The build-up to the goal was excellent as five Bullets players exchanged passes before finding Mkwate, who just laid the ball to Mwaungulu, who produced a ferracious shot outside the penalty box to beat Tembo, 1-1.

The goal was all what Bullets needed in order to spoil Civil’s planned unnecessary delaying tactics, and at this moment, it was a game that would have gone either way.

At the other end, Civil almost restored their lead when Batison’ low cross passed into the box found Katinji unmarked, but his tap in was well saved by Chimbamba.
65 minutes into the match, Kaunda brought in Daniel Kumwenda, Chifundo Ngapenga, Innocent Tanganyika, and Arnold Masamba forPhiri, Banda, Frank Chizuze and Katinji.

Bullets should have doubled their lead in the 68th minute when Mkwate beat an offside trap to find himself at the receiving end of Lungu’s excellent delivery into the box but the midfielder’s shot hit the post and there was no one to finish off the job as Civil survived.

The hosts then caught Bullets on the counter again and nearly found a goal in the 70th minute but Katinji failed to beat Chimbamba who produced a fantastic save before being rescued by Chirwa’ timely clearance inside the box.

With less than fifteen minutes left to play, Bullets had two penalties appeal turned down by referee Alfred Chilinda, who saw nothing from the two handballs inside the box.

The clock was ticking and Bullets kept on pushing but Civil couldn’t open up and on several occasions, caught the visitors on the counter but Chimbamba was excellent as he, for the third time running, denied Batison a goal after he received a cross from Tanganyika.

Pasuwa brought in Sambani for Mwaungulu in the last minutes of the match, but the two teams had to settle for a 1-1 draw.

The result means Bullets are back on top with 14 points, level with Mighty Mukuru Wanderers, but the defending champions have a superior goal difference.

At Dedza Stadium, Dedza Dynamos and Silver Strikers played out to a goalless draw. The result means Peiter De Jhong’s charges are still third with 11 points from five games whilst Gilbert Chirwa’s side is 11th with six points from six games.

At Mpira Stadium, Trouble Kajani canceled out a Gift Soko’ first half strike to earn Mighty Tigers a point over Mafco FC. This means the Salima based soldiers are still stuck on position 14th with five points from six games whilst Tigers are 10th with six points from five games.

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