By Antony Isaiah Jr
Nyasa Big Bullets Football Club return in action today in a game that will decide their future in the 2022-23 TotalEnergies Caf Champions League as they face Simba Sporting Club at Benjamin Mkapa Stadium in Tanzania.
The people’s team suffered a 2-0 defeat at home, Bingu National Stadium in the first Leg as Moses Phiri and John Bocco confirmed Bullets’ first defeat in a competitive match after 23 games as their last defeat was last year in the tnm Super League to Mighty Wanderers at Kamuzu stadium.
The winner will face either Primeiro Do Agosto or Red Arrows in the first round of the qualifying round.
Pasuwa upbeat that he can turn the tables
While acknowledging that it will be a tough game away from home, Nyasa Big Bullets Head Coach, Kalisto Pasuwa is upbeat that his charges are capable of turning the tables.
In the post-match interviews last week after a 2-0 defeat at home, the Zimbabwean mentor said the reason behind the loss was that his boys showed too much respect to Simba Sporting Club but they are capable of beating the 2-goal deficit in the return leg.
“We gave Simba too much respect in yhe first half and we were jittery, we couldn’t keep the ball for a time, and we were giving them room to play from the back, pressing hard on us and we were always chasing the ball,” said Pasuwa.
Pasuwa said his boys should forget about the first leg’s results and concentrate on the return leg but admitted that it will be a tough assignment for his boys.
“It will not be easy for us in Tanzania, but again we saw how we played today. Every time we couldn’t attack and we sat too deep hence having spaces in between the lines where the opponents penetrated, but this is football and we have to throw everything, push for more and hope for the best in yhe return leg,” added Pasuwa.
Speaking to the Club’s media team, Pasuwa says his boys can not worry about the condition of the pitch saying its a very good with smooth surface.
Nyasa Big Bullets enjoy Kamuzu Stadium because of its smoothness of the pitch which matches with their style of play.
“We travelled well, and we have trained on the pitch which is very good and smooth. It’s a game that we only played the first half and we are here to play the second half. This level, its a game of mistakes and you saw the mistakes that we did in Lilongwe and we got punished. By this time, I think we have learnt a lesson and this time around we will correct ourselves and be very very careful.
“In football everything can happen, we have seen other teams scoring even 10 goals and we have come with a positive mind that we can score 2 or three goals like they did in the first Leg,” said Pasuwa.
The Tanzanian giants, will try to avoid a repeat of what happened to them in the 2021/22 season where they comfortably won 2-0 away to Botswana’s Jwaneng Galaxy in the first Leg before the Botswana champions defied odds and beat Simba 3-1 in the return leg to tie the encounter at 3-3 and this is something they will try to avoid at all cost.
Kajoke expected to return
He might be not fans’ favourite this season as he has been misfiring in the past games in the Super League, the 2021 Super League golden Boot winner, Hassan Kajoke is expected to return to the Starting Xi for Pasuwa to add the depth in the attacking zone.
A 2-0 defeat in the first Leg will force Pasuwa to approach the game differently from the previous match and pacey and fast forward players are expected to make their ways into the team.
Kajoke came off the bench in the first Leg alongside McFarren Mgwira and their introduction ignited Bullets’ attack only a blame should go the entire team’s poor conversion rate as they squandered a number of chances.