By Antony Isaiah Jr
Is tnm Super League form deceitful? The free scoring team in Domestic Football, Nyasa Big Bullets Football Club have fired blunt in the TotalEnergies Caf Champions League after succumbing to a 4-0 defeat on aggregate against Simba SC.
The people’s team were flying high in the tnm Super League, scoring 46 goals and conceding just 11 goals in 20 games before facing the Lion’s from Tanzania but they have languished to register even an offside goal.
Nyasa Big Bullets lost 2-0 at home, Bingu National Stadium before recording another defeat of the same scoreline away from home, at Benjamin Mkapa Stadium in Tanzania.
Kalisto Pasuwa hoped to turn the tables and he made six Changes to the team that lost at home seven days ago as Clever Mkungula manned the posts in place of Richard Chimbamba, Precious Phiri, Alick Lungu, Hassan Kajoke, Anthony Mfune, MacFarren Mgwira, Henry Kabitchi all started the game with Babatunde Adepoju, Chimwemwe Idana, Patrick Mwaungulu all on the bench.
Playing the first 90 minutes at home in Lilongwe without registering a meaningful threat and shot on target as their efforts were going off target, people hoped for a changed approach from Bullets, being enthusiastic, invented enough and fierce in front of goals.
However, with Ernest Petro, Alick Lungu and Henry Kabitchi in the midfield, Strikers, Hassan Kajoke and Anthony Mfune failed to have access to good distribution of balls which forced them to drop deep to collect the ball.
They played the first 45 minutes without a shot on target with only Alick Lungu’s shot flying wide after being teeid up by Ernest Petro in the 5th minute.
Noting the lack of creativity in his engine room, Kalisto Pasuwa introduced Chimwemwe Idana for Alick Lungu in the 24th minute but his presence was not even felt in the game.
Despite being goal-shy, Nyasa Big Bullets were also very porous and spongy at the back as they have conceded goals that they would have avoided.
Pasuwa went for the height advantage and experience when he named John Lanjesi in all game, home and away while the Captain has been missing domestic games due to injury issues. Gomezgani Chirwa was shifted the right back to Central defender in today’s game, replacing Kesten Simbi who had a kindergarten mistake in the first leg that rewarded the visitors the second goal.
All the changes paid nothing, as Zambian forward, Moses Phiri rubbed off the comeback hopes at the half-hour mark when he unleashed a missiles from distance leaving Goalkeeper, Mkungula no chance.
Chimwemwe Idana found himself in the box and he came nearly to cancel the lead, he was too slow and the body language showed acceptance and his effort was well defended by Simba SC towards the end of the first half.
The first serious shot on target for the people’s team came in the second half when Precious Phiri’s heavy shot was plucked by Simba’s goalkeeper and this was due to the impact of the half-time substitution that Pasuwa made after throwing Righteous Banda and Babatunde Adepojou for MacFarren Mgwira and Anthony Mfune.
Moses Phiri thickned the lead for the hosts just 5 minutes from the restart as he capitalised the insensitivity of Bullets’ defence that opened up when Bullets had numbers in attacking zone.
Chimwemwe Idana tried a pinpoint pass to his academy graduate compatriot, Hassan Kajoke but it failed to materialise as goalkeeper for Simba, Manula peel it.
Retired legs of Henry Kabitchi, and half-time substitute, Babatunde Adepoju paved way for Blessings Mpokera and Frank Willard as Pasuwa seemed to have already lost trust for a comeback and accepted the defeat.
Idana’s shot flew over the bar with 10 minutes beforeast whistle after receiving a superb pass from Hassan Kajoke on the edge of the box.
Nyasa Big Bullets have failed to go further in the Champions League for the fifth time consecutively.
They were beaten by Al Hilal, Gor Mahia, Platnum FC and Amazulu FC before receiving a baptism from the Tanzanian giants, Simba Sporting Club this season. Their best performance in the competition was back in2004 when the team was relying on the coffers of the then president, Dr Bakili Muluzi.
𝗠𝗼𝘀𝗲𝘀 𝗣𝗵𝗶𝗿𝗶, 𝗮 𝗻𝗮𝗺𝗲 𝘁𝗼 𝗿𝗲𝗺𝗮𝗶𝗻 𝗶𝗻 𝗣𝗮𝗹𝗲𝘀𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗲𝘀’ 𝗵𝗲𝗮𝗿𝘁𝘀
The former Zanaco forward, Moses Phiri will remain and itching Bullets’ fans and players for a time as he single-handedly send them out of the competition.
In fairness, he could not have asked for better opposition to have his name famous in Malawi, given the brittleness of the Bullets’ backline but the quality of his first strike at Bingu National Stadium stood out.
He was spotted by his Captain Hussein from the free-kick and he had an acrobatic bicycle kick beating Richard Chimbamba who was manning the posts.
The 29 year old striker scored added another two in the return leg with beautiful strikes.
While his stunning strikes will hog the headlines, there was plenty more for Pasuwa to be worried about after seeing his side recorded heavy defeat.
When it comes to defensive debacles, however, no top-flight team in Malawi is a patch on Bullets, who have now lost 4-0, 3-3 stalemate against Wanderers, and 4-4 against Moyale Barracks, conceding a 12 goals overall as of late.
It is not a new phenomenon either – they have kept just two clean sheets in 10 games, conceding 75% from set pieces and 25% on counter-attack since the start of second half of 2022 season.
Moses Phiri becomes the second player to score three goals against Bullets in two games after Jaffali Chande when playing for Mighty Wanderers in the past 15 years.