By Antony Isaiah Jr:…….
Dominant Nyasa Big Bullets outclassed Silver Strikers and hammered them 3-1 to roar into the finals of the Airtel Top-8 Cup season five pending for the winner between Mighty Mukuru Wanderers and Blue Eagles who face off on Sunday in another resentment semifinal match.
Conceding an early goal could augment the morale of either side hence both teams did not start the game on top of their notch making the game not to be at the anticipated level.
Going into the game pressure could have mounted on to Silver Strikers as their Coach, Leo Mpulura said winning the trophy was their big target after having a tough season.
After 90 minutes, Leo Mpulura who refused to give his reactions to the reporters saw his target flying away as Gomezgani Chirwa, Ernest Petro and Patrick Mwaungulu’s strikes were enough to oar the hosts into finals of the tournament for the second time consecutively- third in five season.
Stellar performance in Emmas Nyirenda’s previous games saw his buying Mpulura’s trust and he was tasked to avoid rampant Kalisto Pasuwa’s men from hitting the net- But the crowd at Kamuzu Stadium that turn out to cheer for Nyasa Big Bullets forced the goalkeeper to make some blunders.
With both teams sitting back, they hardly created good chances in the first 20 minutes.
Lanjesi Nkhoma came agonizingly close to break the scores in the 12th minute after being picked up by Chimwemwe Idana on the left, he pocked the ball but Emmas Nyirenda rescued the Bankers.
Decimated by fear of conceding more goals like how they did in their last visit to the Kamuzu Stadium, Bankers sat back to catch Bullets on counter-attacks but they could not break Simbi’s led defence.
The wait for the goal was over in the 21st minute when the hosts took the lead through overlapping full-back, Gomezgani Chirwa. He saw Emmas Nyirenda off his line and the defender arrowed the ball into the roof of the net.
In the second half, Nyasa Big Bullets extended the lead in the 52nd minute through Ernest before Stain Davie came off the bench to pull one back but Patrick Mwaungulu dashed away Silver’s hope for staging a come-back with a classic finish to make the game 3-1.
𝐁𝐮𝐥𝐥𝐞𝐭𝐬 𝐦𝐢𝐝𝐟𝐢𝐞𝐥𝐝 𝐭𝐨𝐨 𝐠𝐨𝐨𝐝 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐒𝐢𝐥𝐯𝐞𝐫 (𝐀𝐧𝐚𝐥𝐬𝐢𝐬)
The battle of the game was won in the middle of the park and seeing Leo Mpulura making his change in the first half saw how eager to win the game was the former Blantyre United manager.
Chikondi Kamanga resurgence prompted the Coach to start entrusting him and an armband is the indication that the Coach has trust in him. Patrick Macheso, Levison Maganizo and Kamanga were in midfield with Zebron Kalima assisting them from the left.
However, the midfielders could not blossom over Nyasa Big Bullets’ midfield-trio of Chimwemwe Idana, Ernest Petro and Frank Willard who has now established themselves as the regular starters in Pasuwa’s ruthless team.
Towards the end of the first half, Idana’s led midfield overpower Kamanga’s and it saw Silver conceding a free-kick that Mwaungulu took but it went straight into the palms of Nyirenda.
Noting that his midfield is being torn apart, Leo brought in Uchizi Bvunga for Levison Maganizo with five minutes to go before the break.
Not only good at defending Nyasa Big Bullets midfield was, but also dangerous offensively- Petro put the game away from Silver Strikers with his fine finish in the second half after reaching to Kajoke’s flickon header.
As the midfield was failing to tick, both Chawanangwa Kaonga and Chinsisi Maonga were silent in the game- and Clever Mkungula had to finish the first half without being troubled.
The changes that Leo made by taking Kalima and Macheso off for Stain Davie and Duncan Nyoni paid off as Davie had pulled one back for the Bankers in the 66th minute before Mwaungulu beat the offside trap to make it 3-1 for the hosts.
Babatunde Adepoju and Stanley Billiati were introduced for Hassan Kajoke and Lanjesi Nkhoma for Bullets in the 65th minute before Pasuwa opting for experience as he brought Captain John Lanjesi and Henry Kabitchi for Chimwemwe Idana and Patrick Mwaungulu.
The Changes saw Nyasa Big Bullets switching to 3-5-2 formation with Lanjesi commanding the defence as Pasuwa was trying to stabilise the game and put off fire that was spat by the visitors.
𝐌𝐰𝐚𝐮𝐧𝐠𝐮𝐥𝐮, 𝐂𝐡𝐢𝐫𝐰𝐚’𝐬 𝐛𝐫𝐢𝐥𝐥𝐢𝐚𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐢𝐧𝐬𝐩𝐢𝐫𝐞 𝐤𝐞𝐞𝐩 𝐁𝐮𝐥𝐥𝐞𝐭𝐬’ 𝐭𝐫𝐞𝐛𝐥𝐞 𝐡𝐨𝐩𝐞 𝐚𝐥𝐢𝐯𝐞
With Super League, FDH Bank Cup already in their custody, the hunt for the third trophy is still alive for the people’s team as they are heading into the finals of the season five of the Airtel Top-8 Cup.
His brilliance in set-pieces and clever switching of positions saw Patrick Mwaungulu registering an assist and a goal to squeeze the people’s team into the finals and give them their fifth consecutive win over Silver Strikers at Kamuzu Stadium.
With both Mwaungulu and Gomezgani operating from the same channel, overlapping Mark Fodya and clever Zebron Kalima had their attacking prowess being reduced and they offered little threat offensively.
Gomezgani Chirwa has been an outstanding player for the Super League Champions both defensively and offensively making him one of the contenders of the player of the season and best defender of the season.
Kalisto Pasuwa said having Gomezgani Chirwa in his team is a blessing.
“Since day one, this boy has always been very offensive and he is one person who can give us an attacking advantage in everything we do, a player who can give us speed in attack, he gives us something in defence, he gives us something which is a plus for us and if he keeps on like this, he won’t be with us next season, he will leave,” he spoke highly of the Malawi defender,” praised the mentor.
Bullets will travel to Lilongwe for a final game and their last fixture of the season is scheduled for December 17 at Bingu National Stadium.