2024-07-12

Squad rotation goes against Pasuwa

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By Antony Isaiah Jr:..

It was a frustrating afternoon for NBB coach Kalisto Pasuwa whose rotational strategy backfired on Sunday afternoon in a game the Peoples’ team were a shadow of themselves chasing the game after the Central Bankers.

The peoples’ team dropped points for the second time in a row for the first time this season as having played out to a 1-all stalemat e against Civo last weekend at Kamuzu Stadium and on Sunday Kalisto Pasuwa’s men had to settle for a 2-all draw.

Pasuwa was missing the services of his two centre-halves, Nixon Nyasulu and John Lanjesi who were reportedly busy with Marriage ceremony commitments [Nyasulu’s].

Forgotten versatile suwa Blessings Mpokera was recalled and was deployed in an unfamiliar right back position with traditional right back Gomezgani Chirwa taking up a place in central defence partnering Kesten Simbi.

Chimwemwe Idana, Ernest Petro were all relegated to the bench as the Veteran Henry Kabitchi and Lanjesi Nkhoma were given minutes to play while Richard Chimbamba was also rested for Clever Mkungula.

The changes in the defence had an impact on their attacking as Blessings Mpokera could not execute what Chirwa does game in, game out.

Mpokera was failing to overlap and increase the attacking depth hence inviting pressure from the Central Bankers.

Nyasa Big Bullets failed to display the performance that they are well-known with, passing and supporting football to the frustration of the fans who turned out to cheer up for the club.

The absence of Idana and Petro who plays interchangeably as a deep lying player and attacking midfielder was felt in the game.

Henry Kabitchi looked already tired, paving way for the young energetic midfielders, Levison Maganizo and Chikondi Kamanga to enjoy the game and it also affected the performance of Frank Willard who was holding the midfield.

The midfield lost the ball to Kamanga who spotted Kaonga on yne left and the striker could not fire on target after beating Mpokera on the left.

The creativity, energy and the marking ability that are always there when Petro and Idana are present could be not be available, only Patrick Mwaungulu could manage to play Progressive passes.

The coming of Petro saw Bullets’ game upped but Silver also had a good day.

Frank Willard and Lanjesi Nkhoma paved way for Yamikani Fodya and Chimwemwe Idana at the break with the first one playing as a defensive midfielder while Idana had to play as box to box player.

However, Silver Strikers had a good game plan and they managed to outsmart Bullets in all departments and all phases of the game.

In the post match interviews, Assistant coach for Bullets, Peter Mponda accepted that the changes that they made in the starting team did not pay.

“We only disappointed with the performance but we have got 1 point its enough, that’s part of the game. We have got equally good players. Ernest Petro and Chimwemwe have been playing in most of ours games, and we just wanted to rest them so that they could come back in the game fresh. But it has not worked, the guys who took their positions, didn’t play as much as we thought they have been doing in training. The performance was not that good,” said Mponda.

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After playing a 1-all draw against Civo Service United last week, Nyasa Big Bullets fans hoped for an improved performance from their team after seeing Silver Strikers struggling in their recent games.

It is for the first time Nyasa Big Bullets dropping points twice consecutively this season but they are still unbeaten.

The league could be tight had Blue Eagles beat Ekwendeni Hammers on Sunday in Mzuzu. However, Ekwendeni Hammers who have been in fine form managed to beat the Cops by a goal to nill, thanks to Chawanangwa Gumbo’s first-half strike.

They have opened an eight-point gap over Eagles and they will face each other in their next game at Kamuzu Stadium.

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Promoted from the reserve side, the towering goalkeeper was given his debut in a game against Silver Strikers in the Charity Shield Cup game played at Kamuzu Stadium earlier this week. He had a brilliant afternoon in that game.

However, in his recently games, it seems like he has a lot to learn.

Fast-forward to today’s game, Mkungulu replaced Richard Chimbamba between the sticks as Pasuwa is trying to avoid injuries to his players for over-playing.

The young man made three blunders in the game that would have costed the team, of course one of them did cost the team.

Zebron Kalima swung a corner-kick from the right flank and the goalkeeper left his line and tried to parry the ball away ,unfortunately, he missed it thanks to Chawanangwa Kaonga who blazed his shot wide.

Again, the was a cross from the right flank that the goalkeeper parried it away but into the feet of the Strikers thanks to Blessings Mpokera who reached at the scene at a good time to rescue Bullets from conceding.

In the second half, Mkungulu’s pass selection costed the team when he took a long goal-kick which landed on the feet of Silver Strikers and the Bankers launched an attack beautifully through M’balaka, Kalima and Davie who teeid up Patrick Macheso behind the defence and the former Dwangwa United midfielder calmly nodded it home to level the scores.

He repeated the same mistake when he tried to find Blessings Mpokera on the right and, unfortunately, the ball landed to M’balaka who slotted the ball to Chawanangwa Kaonga who blazed his shot from the left angle wide.

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The Young man has bought his place in Kalisto Pasuwa’s starting Xi after having a bright performance in his late games.

He has now managed to score 8 goals in all competetions this season and he has now turned out to be the savior for the people’s team.

Mfune has scored 5 goals in his last 3 appearance in the tnm Super League.

Before the game matured, the highly-rated striker from Karonga United sent the Red stands into ruptures as he put them in front. He made Silver Strikers’ defenders look so lethargic as he walked away from them easily before having his thunderbolt hitting the back of the net.

He could -perhaps should- have scored more had the midfield was creative enough. In the second half, though the team was down, Mfune was the only player who looked very dangerous when Bullets were attacking. He managed to beat the defence but his shot from his weak foot could not beat Charles Thom.

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