Pasuwa’s tactical twists: Mwaungulu shines in a new role


By Antony Isaiah Jr:

They received mocking messages from their neighbours after a disappointing journey in the 2022-23 TotalEnergies Caf Champions League as they were humiliated by Simba SC of Tanzania.

Pasuwa witih a heavy heart, bowed down and apologised to Nyasa Big Bullets fans, saying their plans had not gone well.

The people’s team were ousted out of the Continental competition after a 4-0 defeat on aggregate against Simba SC, two nill at home and two nill away from home.

However, Before giving his opinion on the Blantyre Derby, Pasuwa said funny mistakes costed his team in the Caf Champions League but he was hopeful that his charges had learnt alot in the competition.

“My apologies to the fans of Nyasa Big Bullets, we thought that we would fare better in the Caf Champions League this season. Unfortunately, we didn’t do well.

“It’s a learning lesson and the boys maybe they have seen the other side of football and we hope we will take that through and take our look into the games that we are playing,” said Pasuwa.

The tactician could be spot on as his charges seemed to have learnt a lesson from that embarrassing defeat in the Caf Champions League.

However, we spot tactical approach that exposed Mighty Wanderers defence.

Kalisto Pasuwa sticked to his 4-3-3 formation with Anthony Mfune who was their sniper in the game leading the attacking zone, Kajoke and Mwaungulu assisting him from wides, that is on the paper.

But in a true reflection of the game, rampant Nyasa Big Bullets were too good for Mighty Mukuru Wanderers in all the departments of the play.

Yes, the praise could be directed to the players for their zeal, anger and determination to win, Pasuwa also deserves a potion of that praise.

Knowing that Mighty Wanderers are very threat from their wings, Pasuwa could park his midfield to split his formation into 4-4-2 without a winger, banking on his overlapping full backs, Precious Sambani and Gomezgani Chirwa to fill the roles of the natural wingers.

This barred their full backs, Captain Stanley Sanudi and Joseph Balakasi from occurring simultaneously.

Patrick Mwaungulu who has in his previous games been deployed as the right winger was squeezed inside to make three ball players in the midriff of the field, Chimwemwe Idana, Ernest Petro were in his company with Frank Willard providing them with defensive shield.

Using microscope, a person can identify that both Chimwemwe and Petro are not good at long-range passes, and the addition of Mwaungulu in the midfield provided that missing instinct.

Mwaungulu was Bullets’ attacking link, linking the team from the defence to the attacking players so make the right play and facilitate when it’s on, drop and collect when he needed to and of course take players on when it’s on. He was dynamic in his off the ball movements as well, look to run beyond the striker at times, join the wing players to create numbers up situations and drop lower to support the build up play.

Mwangulu had to play from both sides of the ball, playing an important role in defence as well whether it’s cutting off the pivot, helping out the center midfielders or pressing together with the striker there, it was a work done with and without the ball.

As the attacking actions of his position requires him to check or stand in pockets with his back facing the opponents goal, Mwaungulu could do that, fulfilling Mike Mkwate’s void. Although he couldnt avoid this at times look to stand in positions where he could receive the ball turned side ways so it was easier for him to turn forward and go forward with the ball. He Always checked that shoulder and receive in a position where half the turn is already done for him.

He was in that position for a reason, it had to he seen. Mwaungulu made creative runs, dummies, dribbles, passes and anything else that helped the team score while expressing his creative abilities.

Sensing Wanderers’ defensive debacles, long-range passes were the only solution to penetrate into the offensive zone.

Patrick Mwaungulu released Anthony Mfune who was in between two defenders, and the forward with his pace and energy walked out of them but Balakasi was there just bring him down and inviting a yellow card from the referee Godfrey Nkhakananga.

There were various spaces between Mighty Wanderers defence, and Mwaungulu and Idana took advantage of that in the early stages of the game to penetrate but thanks to Richard Chipuwa who brilliantly saved Hassan Kajoke attempt, though the flag was already up for an offside.

Parked midfield managed to keep Mighty Wanderers players operating in their engine room, the likes of Yamikani Chester, Isaac Kaliati, Felix Zulu, Francis Mkonda and they could block any forward move, kudos to Frank Willard.

The first goal came as a reap of Mwaungulu’s Clever vision who was at the thick of things.

Chimwemwe Idana blocked Balakasi’s attempted pass to Sulumba, before laying it off to Patrick Mwaungulu and the 20-year-old in an adult style shifted the attack with a long pass to Mfune who sweetly assisted Gomezgani Chirwa to opne the scores.

The same with the second goal, it was Mwaungulu who spotted Mfune between the defenders and the forward unselfishly let it to Kajoke who was in his company and later the number 9 won the penalty.

Yes, his clever passes will hog headlines, but his assist to Babatunde for the fourth goal was out of this world, genius.

He won the possession, 30 metres from Chipuwa’s goals, he went past two defenders, Miracle Gabeya and Adeleke Kalowole before laying off it to Babatunde who nailed down the victory.

In the absence of Head Coach Kalisto who could not finish the game as he fell sick, Peter Mponda said they had ample time to analyse the way their opponents play.

Mponda said, “Tactically, our boys were spot on, we analysed how wanderers play and we saw our previous meeting mistakes when we drew 3-3 today and we, Knew wanderers play long balls and we dealt with long boys and capitalised on those mistakes and the chances created our boys took the chances”.

Nyasa Big Bullets will face Nyasa Big Bullets Reserve in the finals of the FDH Bank Cup at Kamuzu Stadium next month on 8th October.

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