Bullets strike KB to open an 8-point gap


A spectacular lone goal from the Nigerian forward, Babatunde Adepoji was enough for the TNM Super League defending champions, Nyasa Big Bullets to survive Kamuzu Barracks’ scare at Civo Stadium on Sunday afternoon and they open an 8-point gap over Blue Eagles.

Nyasa Big Bullets started the game on a high note as they were looking for an early opener but appreciation goes to Kamuzu Barracks’ disciplined defenders, National Harazi, Helbert Wayekha, Gilbert Nkhokwe and Sam Chivunde as they were able to wrap up gaps and thwart any threatening attack from the people’s team.

The Venoms, Kamuzu Barracks inflated the intensity of their game in the last 15 minutes as they blocked the Bullets’ tunnels, tightly marked Patrick Mwaungulu.

Patrick Banda for Kamuzu Barracks was the star in the midfield as he was dictating the play muzzling Idana and Mpokera for Bullets. Banda was providing a defensive shield for Kamuzu Barracks.

Kalisto Pasuwa, Coach for Bullets made two changes from the team that hammered Mighty Waka Waka Tigers as Ernest Petro and Nkhoma missed the game due to injury and ailment respectively.

Hassan Kajoke and McFarren Mgwira instead completed the starting Xi but their exertions failed to match those who missed the sweet clash. The latter was deployed as a second striker interchangeably with Mwaungulu while Kajoke was operating from the left side interchangeably with Babatunde.

Kamuzu Barracks started pilling pressure from the half-hour mark as former Masters Security forward, Zeliati Nkhoma, Kelvin Hanganda, Gregory Nachipo were putting Bullets defence under pressure. However, the Simbi’s led defence was equal to the assignment.

Gregory Nachipo registered the first shot-on target of the day after receiving a silky touch from Zeliati Nkhoma on the edge of the box before drilling in a heavy shot but Bullets’ goalkeeper on duty, Richard Chimbamba pushed it away for a corner.

In the 27th minute, Hadji Wali had a big chance to steal the lead for the champions after receiving a Superb cross from Mwaungulu but he saw his beautiful header hitting the right upright.

After the first half, Bullets failed to break Kamuzu Barracks’ stubborn defence to register a shot on target.

At half-time, the Zimbabwean mentor, Pasuwa noted that his midfield was porous and blunt, he made a permutation by giving rise to Precious Phiri for imperceptible Mgwira.

However, the change brought no change as the host started from where they left in the first half with Patrick Banda producing man of the match performance in the midfield.

Kamuzu Barracks were dominating having a Lions’ share of possession and they were looking very dangerous in offensive zone, thanks to Wali, Simbi, Sambani and Chirwa who formed a solid block at the back stopping Nkhoma, Hanganda’s threatening attacks.

Ambitious Bullets made double changes as wonder kid Stanley Billiat and veteran Henry Kabitchi were introduced for Mwaungulu and Kajoke to ignite fire upfront and closing gaps in the midfield in the 61th minute.

Chimwemwe Idana was shifted to free role position with Kabitch as a Box to Box midfielder while Mpokera was providing a shield to the defenders.

Kamuzu Barracks introduced former Escom United star Ndaona Daisi for former Silver Strikers player, Chimwemwe Chisambi as they were also searching for a goal.

Stanley BIlliati, Chimwemwe Idana and Babatunde upped Bullets’ game as they needed a winning goal.

Precious Sambani won the ball in his half, before sending it to pacey Billiati. The latter put in the heart of the pitch where Idana was operating. With the pacey fullback, Gomezgan Chirwa in his company he laid it off to him on the right flank before the latter sent a Felixious ball into the feet of Babatunde who imperiously bobbed it home to give the Ndirande-based boys a much-needed lead in the 74th minute.

Kamuzu Barracks threw another dice in search of the equaliser as Manase Chiesa was given the playing time for Mathias Nyirenda in the 83rd minute.

With the aim of defending the goal, Bullets introduced Ghanaian defender, Isaac Badu for Blessings Mpokera to cool the pressure that was pillled from by the Chiwoko boys.

In the dining minutes, Babatunde Adepoju could have extended his tally as he tried to tap in Phiri’s cross but thanks to Venom’s goalminder, Hastings Katoma Banda who denied him.

The goalkeeper got injured in the process of denying Babatunde from finding the second, he was then replaced by Leman Nthala in goals.

For Bullets, Kesten Simbi sustained injury and was replaced by Nixon Nyasulu.

After 90 minutes, Bullets scooped maximum points to widen the gap with Cops, Blue Eagles.

In the post match interviews, Nyasa Big Bullets Coach, Kalisto Pasuwa said Kamuzu Barracks gave them a good run of their money.

He said, “Kamuzu Barracks came with a mission of stopping us, they played very well. We are happy that we found the goal and we managed to defend it. Taking three points away from home it’s remarkable feet. We thank boys for the performance.”

Charles Kamanga coach for Kamuzu Barracks acknowledged the defeat.

He said, “It was a tough game for both sides, we accept the defeat, congratulations to Bullets for the victory.”

With the victory, Bullets have now won eight games consecutively and they have managed to amass a total of 38 points.

They will be wrapping up the first round with a derby game against the rookies, Sable Farming on Saturday in Blantyre at Kamuzu Stadium.

Kamuzu Barracks have missed the chance to dislodge Silver Strikers from the fourth place and they remain fifth with 20 points from 13 games. They will travel to Rumphi to face Rumphi United who are slumped at the bottom of the table with 9 points from 13 outings.

Elsewhere, In Dedza, Promice Kamwendo netted the first hat-trick of the 2022 season for Dedza Dynamons as they beat Ekwendeni Hammers 3-2. Isaac Msiska and Richard Rabaon scored for the Hammers.

Dedza have climbed the table to 7th place with 18 points from 13 games and they pushing for a top 8 Cup.

Ekwendeni remain 13th with 13 points from 14 games.

In Karonga, Sable Farming came from behind to salvage a point against Karonga United.

Steve Saka scored for Ingwina in the first half but Chifundo Ngapemba cancelled it in the second half.

Karonga occupy 8th slot with 17 points from 13 games while Sable are on 14th with 11 points from 13 games.

Here are the results on Sunday:

-Karonga United 1-1 Sable Farming
(Steve Saka – Chifundo Ngapemba)

-Kamuzu Barracks 0-1 Nyasa Big Bullets
(Babatunde Adepoju)

-Dedza Dynamos 3-2 Ekwendeni Hammers
(Promise Kamwendo x3 – Isaac Msiska, Richard Rapson)

Nyasa Big Bullets forward, Babatunde leads the scoring chart with 9 goals while Muhhamad Sulumba traces back with 7 goals.

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