Nobody owns Blantyre: another vain result for derby


They have done it again. Another point share. It is not the first time and definitely won’t be the last time we see this result. The Blantyre Derby has become so predictable, that it should be easy for the punters to make some money from this fixture these days.

This is nothing new and this type of result is to be expected when the two giants meet as they seem to forget how to beat each other.

Their two league games from last season also ended in draws.

FCB Nyasa Big Bullets and Mighty Mukuru Wanderers played out to a 1-all draw in an entertaining derby played at the iconic Kamuzu Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Following a one-sided opening 45 minutes of which belonged to Wandereres, Bullets came back in the second half and pushed relentlessly to find the equalizing goal after falling behind to an early goal from Isaac Kaliyati.

As usual, the game started at a ferocious pace, with both sides coming out to attack.

But, it was Wanderers who had more time on the ball as they kept possession and played a high-intensity game through Gaddie Chirwa and Isaac Kaliyati, but unlocking Bullets’ defence proved to be a tough assignment for the Lali Lubani boys.

Wanderers kept dominating possession, but they cheaply gave away the ball to their opposition in the final third of the attack.

Bullets’ first chance came in the 11th minute when Patrick Mwaungulu delivered a very dangerous cross into the penalty box from a free-kick, but Ephraim Kondowe failed to tap in as he was disturbed by Richard Chipuwa who came out early to rescue the Nomads from conceding.

Wanderers’s hard-working spirit finally paid off in the 20th minute when Wisdom Mpinganjira, Timothy Silwimba, and Blessings Singini exchanged passes to release Isaac Kaliyati who made no mistake in firing at goal when Bullets was stuck in their line of duty, 0-1.

At this moment, there was nothing to show from the hosts who were struggling to find their rhythm in the offensive zone as all the supply lines were closed down by the visitors.

It was a lacklustre performance from the defending champions who were slow on everything and were second on the ball to the Nomads who were in control of the proceedings.

With more than 35 minutes played on the clock, Bullets had no attempt at goal, with  Wanderers cutting short every attack from the hosts to defend their slender lead.

In the 40th minute, Christopher Kumwembe almost doubled Wanderers’s lead when Precious Phiri and Gomezgani Chirwa lost possession in the penalty box. But the forward’s shot hit the side net for a goal kick.

Kamuzu Stadium fully packed.

Pasuwa’s charges had a chance to level in the 42nd minute when he made a run from Mapemba’s through ball only to blast his volley over the crossbar when Richard Chipuwa was already beaten in the line of duty and that was all for the half.

At the interval, Pasuwa brought in Ronald Chitiyo and Babatunde Adepoju for Lloyd Aaron and Lanjesi Nkhoma. This was a tactical move by the tactician who wanted to regain control of the midfield which was mostly dominated by the Nomads.

These two changes paid off as Bullets levelled in the 49th minute when Phiri, Singo, and Chitiyo combined well to find Babatunde who just laid the ball down to Mwaungulu on the edge of the penalty box.

The winger wasted no time by firing at goal to beat Chipuwa to his left-hand side, 1-1.

For the next ten minutes, Bullets raised their tempo and made some dangerous moves into Wanderers’s half, but the defensive pair of Lawrence Chaziya and Muhammad Kung’unde was very solid to deny them any goal-scoring opportunity to take the lead for the first time in the match.

With the half-hour mark gone, Mpinganjira got the better of Chirwa before releasing a thunderous shot that missed Nyasulu’s right-hand goal post with an inch to hit the side net.

Nsanzuwrimo Ramadhan brought in Bakilinho Mwakanyongo for Kaliyati to try to add more firepower upfront and more numerical superiority in the midfield.

Bullets dropped down again and allowed Wanderers to increase their intensity in the attacking zone and they nearly restored their lead when Stanley Sanudi found Gaddie Chirwa to his right before sending a cross into the box which was missed by every Bullets defender and found Felix Zulu unmarked.

The midfielder failed to convert his chance as he blasted his effort over the crossbar to the dismay of Ramadhan’s led technical panel.

Francisco Madinga came in for Mpinganjira, a surprise decision from Ramadhan as the winger was causing more problems for Bullets.

The last ten minutes were played in the midfield, but Babatunde had his chance to finish off Wanderers, but he allowed Chipuwa to arrive on time before making a timely save to keep the game at level.

Pasuwa introduced Anthony Mfune for Kondowe in the 82nd minute.

Babatunde saw his goal-bound shot well blocked by Kung’unde for a corner kick which was easily defended by the visitors.

With three minutes to go, a dangerous cross from a corner kick nearly resulted in a goal for Wanderers as Nyasulu fumbled the cross and gifted the ball to Kumwembe, but the forward failed to put the ball into the net when the goal was wide open and 1-1 it ended.

This is the fourth straightforward derby draw by the two teams.

The last derby win for Bullets was in the first round of the 2022 season, but since then, these two teams have failed to beat each other on a big stage.

Wanderers are third in the table with nine points, with Bullets sitting fourth with the same number of points but they have an inferior goal difference to the Nomads.

At Karonga Stadium, an own goal from Chimwemwe Kalyala and a strike from Binwell Katinji inspired Silver Strikers to a comfortable 2-0 away win over Baka City to open a three-point lead over Mzuzu City Hammers at the top of the standings.

The Central Bankers have also opened a four-point gap over Wanderers and Bullets.


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