By Antony Isaiah Jr
The tnm Super League Champions, Nyasa Big Bullets have a kilimanjaro mountain to climb if they are to secure a slot in the next stage of the Caf Champions League after being whipped by Tanzanian giants, Simba Sporting Club by two goals to nill at Bingu National Stadium on Saturday.
Zambian forward, Moses Phiri gave the Lions of Tanzania the lead in the 29th minute after connecting home Hussen’s free kick, beating Richard Chimbamba with an acrobatic bicycle kick before John Bocco sealed the victory in the 80th minute.
The people’s team will travel to Tanzania 7 days later for a second leg match at Benjamin Mkapa Stadium where they will be needed to score more than two goals without conceding.
lack of experience haunts Bullets
Nyasa Big Bullets released at least 13 experienced players, banking on the players that they promoted from their reserve team earlier this year.
Miracle Gabeya, Chiukepo Msowoya, Bright Munthali, Zicco Mkanda, Ernest Kakhobwe were some of the players that were shown an exit door before promoting Patrick Mwaungulu, Yankho Singo, Clever Mkungula, just to mention afew.
The players have been performing beyond expectations in the domestic football, leading the league table with 52 points from 20 games and reaching the semifinals of FDH Bank Cup.
However, the defence was the victim of criticism after conceding 7 goals in two games against Moyale Barracks and Mighty Mukuru Wanderers consecutively but head coach Kalisto Pasuwa said he was confident enough in his charges as they were still learning.
Coming into today’s game, Big Bullets have been plagued by the lack of experienced players in their team as they were lacking self confidence in the game.
Kalisto Pasuwa handed the Continental football debut to Frank Willard, Kesten Simbi, and Patrick Mwaungulu.
Knowing that experience was needed in the game, Pasuwa called Captain John Lanjesi into the game and he paired up him with Kesten Simbi in the heart of defence. Precious Sambani, Gomezgani Chirwa who have international experience as they play for Flames were operating as the left and right back respectively.
The people’s team started the game on low note, per haps they were afraid of Simba Sporting Club.
Bullets had an approach of playing a defensive football thereby isolating their striker, Babatunde Adepoju who was tightly marked by Captain Hussen, Israel and Henock.
Simba looked very confident on the ball, enjoying the proceedings but they were failing to break the deadlock as John Lanjesi’s led defence was equal to the task, balancing their equations.
The solidarity of the defence could not last up to beyond 30 minutes as Gomezgani Chirwa conceded a foul just outside the box that the visitors used to find the goal.
Captain Hussein swiveled the ball into the box that Bullets defence languished to deal with, thinking that they had played Moses Phiri offside but the assistant referee saw it otherwise as he opted not to raise his flag.
Two hot players in the domestic league, Patrick Mwaungulu and Lanjesi Nkhoma were taken out as they were ineffective and they were replaced by Hassan Kajoke and McFarren Mgwira in the 38th minute.
Kalisto Pasuwa had talks with his boys at half-time and Bullets came back stronger after the resume as Hassan Kajoke and McFarren Mgwira were pilling pressure on to the Simba’s defence but Bullets were wasteful, chances that with experienced Strikers could have converted so easily.
Kesten Simbi had a kindergarten mistake in the 80th minute when he failed to clear the long ball that lead to the second goal for the visitors.
Bullets fire Blunt
A team that is well known as a free scoring in domestic football, having scoring 48 goals in 20 games in League and 52 in all competitions failed to register a single on target against Simba Sporting Club at Bingu National Stadium.
Despite several chances that the team created in the game, Bullets players were lacking composure as their efforts were going off target.
Patrick Mwaungulu swung a free kick into the box that found Captain John Lanjesi whose header landed on to the right foot of Babatunde but the Nigerian forward a baby shot into the palms of goalkeeper.
Precious Sambani two times in the first half had his effort flying over the bar after breaking on the left.
Nyasa Big Bullets reposted soon after conceding the first goal as they break into the opposition half. Chimwemwe Idana rifled his shot wide in the 35th minute. Bullets had advanced into the attacking zone through Babatunde Adepoju.
The substitute, Hassan Kajoke outsmarted Simba’s right back on the left before sending a beautiful ball into the box but Babatunde was of his position just before the break.
Precious Sambani came nearly to cancel Moses Phiri’s strike when he headed wide McFarren Mgwira’s corner kick from the right corner.
Chimwemwe Idana, Hassan Kajoke all wasted chances in the second half, a situation which rarely happens in the Super League.