Champions League preview: Bullets in crucial first leg match against Dragon FC

Nyasa Big Bullets Malawi

FCB Nyasa Big Bullets return to CAF Champions League football with a crucial away first leg match against Equatorial Guinea’ Dragon FC in the preliminary round of qualifiers this evening.

It will be the first ever meeting between the two teams, with Bullets going into this encounter with more hope to get past the first stage for the first time since 2015 season.

The People’s Team has had a disappointing outing in the Africa’ biggest club competition as they were eliminated in the early stages for the past five attempts.

The match is very crucial considering that they are facing a side that has no major history in the continental club Cup.

Dragon FC are the 2022/23 champions for Equatorial Guinea league.

The league has 24 teams (twelve from the Capital City of Malabo and 12 from Baka).

These 24 teams compete for the final four slots where the best four teams fight for the championship. Dragon won the title, with Cano Sport Academy coming second to qualify for the CAF Confederations Cup, and they will host Zambia’s Maestro United today.

How Bullets have fared in the last five attempts in CAF Champions League

In 2015, they were drawn against Comoros Island’s Fomboni FC, and won the first leg 1-0 courtesy of a Tigzobere Kumwenda’s lone strike.

The second leg saw Bullets throwing away a 2-0 first half lead through Victor Limbani and Kumwenda to end the match at 2-2.

Fomboni scored their goals through Marius Alfonse and Dafida M’madi.

Bullets progressed to the second round, where they got hammered 4-0 by Sudanese giants, Al Hilal.

They scored their goals through a Mudathir Careca’ double, with the other goals coming from Boubacar Kebe and Nazir Hamid.

The return leg at Kamuzu Stadium ended 1-1. James Chilapondwa scored from the spot, with the visitors’ goal coming from substitute Frank Aboubacar.

In 2018, Bullets faced Kenya’s Gor Mahia. The first leg ended 1-0 through a late goal from midfielder Bernard Ondiek.

The second leg saw Bullets leveling the scoreline through a Chiukepo Msowoya’ excellent goal before he missed an opportunity from the spot, which would have seen Bullets progressing to the second round. The game had to be decided on penalties. Mahia won 3-4.

In 2019, Bullets were drawn against Zimbabwe’s Platnum FC.

The first leg at Kamuzu Stadium ended 0-0. Bullets then traveled to Zimbabwe, where they lost 3-2 despite playing the majority of the match with a one man advantage.

The Zimbabwean side scored their goals through Devon Chafa, Never Tigere, and Perfect Chikwende whilst Bullets scored through Peter Banda and Patrick Phiri

In 2020/21 season, a lone strike from Chiukepo Msowoya handed Bullets a 1-0 goal advantage away from home over Amazulu FC but they lost the return leg at Bingu National Stadium when Bongi Ntuli scored a brace while Siphelele Mthembu completed the rout in the second half. Bullets scored their goal through Henry Kabichi.

Last season, the People’s Team got hammered 4-0 by Tanzanian side, Simba SC.

The first leg at BNS ended 2-0 through a strike in each half from Moses Phiri and John Bocco.

In the return leg, Phiri scored a brace to inspire Simba SC to a 4-0 aggregate win over the Malawi champions.

They go again today, hoping for a better result against a side not known to them and with no major history in Africa’s biggest club competition.

The match will be played at the Estadio de Malabo in the Capital City of Equatorial Guinea, with the return leg set for Sunday, 27th August, 2023.