Defending TNM Super League champions Nyasa Big Bullets Saturday afternoon proved too good for rival camp Might Be Forward Wanderers, crashing the Nomads 2-0 in the Football Association of Malawi (Fam) Charity Shield encounter played before a huge crowd at Civo Stadium in Lilongwe.
Featuring Flames’ international Chiukepo Msowoya and former Nomads goal poacher Muhamed Sulumba upfront, the defending champions were on song barely a minute into the game, when Sulumba capitalised on a defensive blunder to beat Wanderers’ newly signed goalkeeper Nenani Juwaya, formerly of Azam Tigers.
The early goal completely unsettled the Nomads, who never played as a unit. Bullets’ new recruit Ernest Kakhobwe, formerly Azam Tigers had the easiest of tasks in between the goal posts as strikers Jabulani Linje and Jimmy Zakazaka got no supply from the midfield.
On the other hand, Bullets were firing from all cylinders, catching the Wanderers’ defence of Steward Gerald, Kondwani Kadzuwa, Stanley Sanudi and Francis Mlimbika off-guard. It was not surprising at all that Bullets grabbed the second, four minutes to recess- courtesy of an unmarked Msowoya, who headed in a cross from Dalitso Sailesi from close range.
Sensing danger, Wanderers coach Jack Chamangwana made a double substitution during the recess, bringing in Rafik Mussa and Felix Zulu for Mike Kaziputa and Rafik Namwera. Linje and Zakazaka were also replaced by Peter Wadabwa and Nigerian towering striker Amos Beld.
The changes brought a new lease of life to the Nomads with the Nigerian, showing some touches of brilliance. Mussa, Zulu, Wadabwa and another later introduction Luka Milanzie also made a good impact but the damage made in the first half was just too difficult to repair.
Bullets mentor Franco Ndawa had the luxury to pull out three players at once as he replaced Dalitso Sailesi, Bashir Maunde and Sulumba with Davie Ng’ambi, Chikondi Likwemba and Mussa Manyenje. Veteran Fischer Kondowe also paved way for teenager Mike Mkwate.
Ndawa praised his charges for a disciplined performance, revealing the plan was to unsettle the Nomads with an early goal.
“We told our boys to get an early goal to unsettle the opponents and they did just that. We were in total command after the early goal and could have added a few more if we took all our chances. The result shows we are ready to defend our title but we are not one hundred percent perfect and we need to improve in some areas,” said Ndawa.
His counterpart Jack ‘Africa’ Chamangwana admitted the early goal unsettled his side but praised his charges for a good second half performance.
“Conceding an early goal against our rivals made life difficult for us but after making some changes, we were an improved side in the second half. This was just a warm up match and it has helped us to see who can fit in and who cannot,” said Chamangwana.
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) and Malawi Blood Transfusion Services (MBTS) used the inaugural Chifundo Charity Shield to mobilise the public to donate blood.
FAM president Walter Nyamilandu said he proceeds of the match will go to Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) where there is a critical shortage of patients’ trolleys and that expenses of the participating teams, in terms of accommodation and allowances, will be met by the yet to be disclosed sponsors.
“The Chifundo Charity Shield will be an annual event that will see Super League and Carlsberg Cup champions facing off in a match for a charitable cause. This year we are helping MBTS and KCH, but next year we will identify other beneficiaries,” he said.
MBTS chief executive officer Natasha Nsamala thanked FAM for the initiative saying it will go a long way in achieving their target of collecting 80 000 units of blood this year.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :