Silver Strikers end Bullets’ unbeaten home run, widen gap to eleven points

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Silver Strikers vs FCB Nyasa Big Bullets

An assistant to Kalisto Pasuwa for three and half years, Peter Mponda came back to haunt his teacher as Silver Strikers ended FCB Nyasa Big Bullets’ three-year unbeaten home run in the TNM Super League.

Chinsisi Maonga came off the bench to score the winning goal in the 90th minute of the match, a replica of what Maxwell Phodo did to Bullets in 2021 when he scored at the death to hand The People’s Team a heartbreaking defeat.

Our three-year unbeaten home run in the TNM Super League is over following a heartbreaking 0-1 defeat at Kamuzu Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Just like last week in Mzuzu, the hosts created plenty of goal-scoring chances in both halves, but in the end, the visitors, who were restricted by our defence from creating goal-scoring chances, walked out of the stadium with all the points.

What happened…

Kalisto Pasuwa made four changes to his team as Clyde Senaji, Precious Phiri, Yankho Singo, and Lanjesi Nkhoma were included in the first eleven.

The People’s Team dominated every phase of play, attacking from all angles in the opening minutes and they should have had a goal when Nkhoma tested George Chikooka with a powerful shot which was easily handled by the shot-stopper.

And moments after that, Babatunde Adepoju delivered a very dangerous cross into the box which found Phiri unmarked, but his goal-bound shot was easily saved by Chikooka who was the busiest of the two goalkeepers.

Six minutes on the clock, Lloyd Aaron’s powerful drive hit the side net as Bullets kept on attacking from all angles in search of an early goal, but it couldn’t come.

Silver’s first chance came in the 13th minute when Charles Chipala made a run to his right before sending a cross into the box, targeting Chimwemwe Idana, but the midfielder saw his shot well blocked by Senaji.

Patrick Mwaungulu almost broke the deadlock in the 18th minute when his first-time volley hit the upright.

With the half-hour mark played, Chikooka was at it again, denying Phiri from scoring when his powerful header was well saved by the shot-stopper whose heroics kept the game at level.

With 33 minutes played on the clock, the visitors had no shot at goal, but Chikooka made three important saves to deny Bullets from making a breakthrough.

Another chance to Bullets came in the 40th minute. Nkhoma was brought down by Idana and from the free-kick, the winger saw his powerful volley well saved by Chikooka who was in control of everything thrown at him.

With five minutes left on the clock to play in the first half, Uchizi Vunga almost pounced on Bullets when his thunderous shot missed Innocent Nyasulu’s upright with an inch for a goal-kick.

There was a late drama when referee Gift Chicco lost control of the match, resulting in unnecessary fouls and fights between the players from the two teams and the first half ended 0-0.

After the recess, Pasuwa brought in Ernest Petro for Stanley Billiat and moved Mwaungulu to the right flank of the field.

It was a low start to the game as Peter Mponda’s side restricted Bullets from creating chances in the opening minutes of the final half.

For the next twenty minutes, no shot at goal was registered by the two teams as the midfield battle intensified between the trio of Idana, Vunga and Kamanga against Bullets’s Aaron, Petro and Singo.

At 70 minutes, Bullets created two clear-cut chances. The first one was when Mwaungulu found Babatunde unmarked in the six-yard box, but the forward was denied by Chikooka.

And moments later, the forward tapped his effort over the crossbar when Chikooka was already beaten in the line of duty, leaving everybody stunned and in disbelief.

The Bankers brought in Patrick Macheso and Stain Davie for Vunga and Mark Fodya, who came in as a second-half substitute while Hassan Kajoke replaced Babatunde for Bullets.

The Bankers were now dominating play and should have had a goal in the 73rd minute when Davie’s goal-bound shot was blocked by Nickson Nyasulu and a few minutes later, his header missed the upright with just an inch.

Pasuwa brought in Anthony Mfune for Nkhoma while Maonga came in for Binwell Katinji for the Bankers.

There was a clear chance for Bullets in the 88th minute when Phiri’s cross was missed by Maxwell Paipi and landed straight at Chirwa who did everything right to release a powerful shot that went diagonally wide. Nobody could believe how the ball went wide when Chikooka was already beaten.

As it is said, football is a game of chances, once you miss chances, you are punished and that’s exactly what happened in the 90th minute.

Bullets had won a corner-kick and from the set piece, Silver defended well through Macheso whose quick pass to Maonga caught the hosts off-guard in their defensive zone.

Maonga made a run and slotted the ball past Nyasulu to break the hearts of the home fans.

The match could not continue as some section of supporters started petting stones and decision was made to end the game.

This was Bullets’s first home loss in nearly three seasons. This means the gap between the two teams has widened to 11 as Bullets are fifth in the standings with 14 points while the Bankers have 25 points.

At Mpira Stadium, Bangwe All Stars claimed their first league win after they hammered Chitipa United 3-0 courtesy of a strike each from James Msowoya, Clever Chikwata and Justice Honde.

The win sees Bangwe sitting on 14th position with six points whilst Chitipa is 15th with five points. Both teams have played nine games.

Photo credit: Silver Strikers Media Team

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