By Antony Isaiah Jr:….
Nyasa Big Bullets have survived Silver Strikers’ scare as the Bankers came from behind twice to salvage a point in a lively game played at Bingu National Stadium.
Nyasa Big Bullets opened the scores through Anthony Mfune before Chawanangwa Kaonga levelled from the spot and Bankers had to come from behind again through Patrick Macheso as Mwaungulu had restored Bullets’ parity.
WHAT HAPPENED? Kalisto Pasuwa tried to repeat what he does, he is a rotational master and rested Chimwemwe Idana and Ernest Petro in the midfield for Henry Kabitchi and Patrick Mwaungulu. Gomezgani Chirwa was also shifted to the position of centre back while Blessings Mpokera was playing as a right back.
Richard Chimbamba was relegated to the bench while Clever Mkungulu replaced him.
As for the Bankers, Chinsisi Maonga started for Stain Davie, Patrick Macheso, Chikondi Kamnga, Levison Maganizo started in the middle of the park.
The people’s team had a flying start to the game as Anthony Mfune send the Red stands in rupture with a beautiful strike just after 3 minutes from the kick off. Babatunde Adepoju had a back-heel pass to the young man who has been in blazing form, he run past two defenders before spurning a powerful shot into the back of the net.
The goal could not take Bullets on to the top of the game as Silver Strikers had to display a strange game, pressing game keeping Bullets in their own half.
Bullets’ midfielders without Idana and Petro looked lethargic and Silver Strikers were all over the field, only to blame their aggressiveness and composure in front of the goal.
Blessings Mpokera who was marking Chawanangwa Kaonga on the left had a busy day, the lethal striker outsmarted the towering midfielder-cum-defender on the left and he fired his shot off target from close range.
Gomezgani Chirwa had to use his pace to deny the Bankers from equalising as Chawanangwa Kaonga walked away from Bullets forest just to be denied the pacey defender.
Patrick Macheso came nearly to level the scores but Clever Mkungula who was manning the goal had a brilliant save to keep him at bay before Mkungula denied Chawanangwa Kaonga’s close range.
As they were sitting back, Bullets had to depend on the counter-attacks and Precious Sambani lifted the ball to Mwaungulu who was upfront but yhe young man fired his shot into the palms of goalkeeper.
The Bankers wasted another chance from the set-piece, Henry Kabitchi conceded a free-kick just outside the penalty area but Chinsisi Maonga lifted it over the bar.
Kalisto Pasuwa notted the ineffectiveness of his midfield-trio and he pulled out the veteran, Henry Kabitchi for Ernest Petro and that’s when Bullets looked to have been energised.
In the second half, Frank Willard and Lanjesi Nkhoma paved way for Yamikani Fodya and Chimwemwe Idana.
It took just two minutes for Silver to settle the scores as Chawanangwa Kaonga sent Clever Mkungula the wrong direction from the spot. Zebron Kalima beat Mpokera on the left and the defender pulled him down and the referee pointed to the spot.
Nyasa Big Bullets restored their parity back through Patrick Mwaungulu in the 49th minute. Ernest Petro beat three men before laying the ball to the young man who unleashed a thunderbolt from outside the box, beating Thom Thom who was on the line of duty.
In his search for the goal, Leo Mpulura threw in Stain Davie and Blessings Tembo for Levison Maganizo and Chinsisi Maonga.
Just 6 minutes from the changes, Stain Davie had a hand in Bankers’ equalizing goal. It all started with Mkungula’s goal-kick delivery that landed on the feet of Silver Strikers. The Bankers launched an attack beautifully through M’balaka, Kalima and Davie who up Patrick Macheso behind the defence and the former Dwangwa United midfielder calmly put the ball into the roof of the net.
Zebron Kalima came nearly to put the Bankers in front but his shot was miscalculated as he fired wide from the 6-yard box.
Anthony Mfune was released on the left where he was tightly marked and he managed to take a shot but it was not enough to beat Charles Thom.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN? Silver Strikers have managed to score after 270 minutes as they were beaten 1-0 by Mighty Mukuru Wanderers, 1-0 by Blue Eagles and they played 0-0 against Karonga.
They are still searching for their first win under the new technical panel and they are winless in their last 4 games.
Silver Strikers are number 7 with 39 points from 25 games.
As for Bullets, thanks to Ekwendeni Hammers effort that they have done in beating Blue Eagles at Mzuzu Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Chawanangwa Gumbo netted a beautiful goal to deny the Cops from amassing their targetted six points.
This means that the people’s team are still leading the table with 8 points over Blue Eagles, they have 57 points from 23 games while Eagles have 49 points from the same number of games.
WHAT NEXT? Nyasa Big Bullets are having a league-deciding match this weekend as they will welcome Blue Eagles at Kamuzu Stadium.