Bullets win record seventh successive Charity Shield

Nyasa Big Bullets Malawi

For the seventh consecutive time, FCB Nyasa Big Bullets won the NBS Charity Shield Cup after defeating Silver Strikers 7-6 on penalties at Bingu National Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

If anyone considered this a glorified kickabout, they should have watched Bullets’ players wheel ecstatically towards their support after Chikondi Kamanga failed to convert his spot-kick which was well saved by Innocent Nyasulu.

This was a brisk, watchable palate cleanser and, as proceedings entered the shootout, it appealed Silver would take the spoils while Bullets could claim succour from a useful display.

Then Duncan Nyoni hit the post from the penalty spot when all he needed was to score to win it for the Bankers following Precious Sambani’s first penalty miss that had put Peter Mponda’s side in an advantage position.

The first opportunity for Bullets came in the 7th minute when Chikumbutso Salima made his way into Silver’s penalty box before finding Precious Phiri on the edge of the box, but the winger blasted his effort over the crossbar for a goal-kick.

The first 15 minutes of the match saw Bullets dominating possession, but they lacked the cutting edge to finish off the opponents who were sitting back to defend against fearless attackers.

Maxwell Phodo saw his long-range shot hitting Maxwell Paipi before another attempt from Babatunde Adepoju outside the penalty box.

But it was Peter Mponda’s side that won the first corner kick of the day, which was well defended by Blessings Mpokera.

The Central Bankers had their first realistic opportunity in the 22nd minute through Gift Chunga who combined well with Nyoni, but Nyasulu, making his full debut for Bullets, rose to the occasion with a brilliant save.

The area 47-based side was now in full control of the match through Kamanga, Chimwemwe Idana, Chunga and Nyoni, but breaking Mujuru’s led defence proved to be futile as the Bullets’ back-four coordinated well to defend against any threat posed by the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) sponsored sid.

Silver’s pressing opened up a window of opportunity for Pasuwa’s side to launch a stunning counter-hurricane attack which almost handed them a lead in the 27th minute through Phiri who was denied by George Chikooka’s excellent save.

Salima was causing havoc to Silver’s left-hand side as he kept on tormenting Yamikani Fodya with his pace and dribbling skills, but all his dangerous crosses were unattended by Phodo and, Babatunde inside the penalty box.

Phodo had his moment of brilliance just after the half-hour mark when he stretched Paipi and created a shooting space for himself. But the forward’ last tough allowed Chikooka to gain ground, and from the rebound, the shot-stopper produced a save to deny Salima from putting the ball into the net.

The last minutes of the half saw Silver pressing with intent, but they lacked the finishing composure to make any breakthrough as the first half ended goalless.

After the recess, Pasuwa brought in Mathews Masamba and Ernest Petro for Phodo and Chawanangwa Gumbo to try to stop Silver from winning the midfield battle.

Salima was the man to watch with his dribbling skills and ability to take on defenders without fear and had it been Bullets’ strikers were sharp enough in front of the goal, the hosts would have made a breakthrough, but any dangerous ball into the box met the defensive wall of Nickson Mwase and Paipi for the Bankers.

The visitors were forced to make a change in the 55th minute when Mwase sustained an injury and he was replaced by Innocent Shema.

The Bankers had a chance from a set piece closer to Bullets’ penalty box, but Nyasulu was in control of his box and made every ball his.

Hassan Kajoke and Ephraim Kondowe replaced Babatunde and Crispin Mapemba, who had a very gland game in his full debut with The People’s Team.

Yamikani Mologeni, another debutant for Bullets, made a brilliant run to the right flank in the 71st minute before sending an excellent ball into the box, but both Kondowe and Kajoke failed to capitalise against a defense which was caught napping in the line of duty.

Salima sustained an injury in the 73rd minute, and he was replaced by Precious Sambani, who was making a return to the team after missing several games due to an injury.

Phiri combined well with Kondowe before making his way to Silver’s penalty box, but Chikooka was very outstanding between the sticks with yet another important save.

With 90 minutes played, Pasuwa brought in Nickson Nyasulu for Yankho Singo, a clear indication that Pasuwa was now preparing his team for penalties.

Despite adding three more minutes to the clock, the two teams couldn’t be separated by a goal, and penalties had to be used to find the winner.

In the shootout, Nyoni hit the post before Nyasulu’s heroics to deny Chunga and Kamanga from putting the ball into the net as Kajoke, Nyasulu, Mujuru, Kondowe, Mologeni, Mpokera and Phiri converted all their penalties to inspire Bullets to a 7-6 win over the Bankers.


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.