Big Bullets came back from Mzuzu with just one point as rookies Mzuzu United Monday held them to a goalless draw in an emotionally charged encounter characterized by explosive tempers on and off the field at Mzuzu Stadium.
Bullets who on Saturday lost 1-0 to Moyale Barracks, threw everything into the game, pressurised the rookies, and won abortive corner kick just two minutes from kick off.
As the game progressed, tempers started to flare up especially when Bullets defender Sankhani Mkandawire claimed to have been punched in the face by Mzuzu United midfielder Brian Phiri during an aerial ball combat but escaped the eyes of the referee Misheck Juba.
The incident angered Bullets fans who later at half time demanded that the referee be replaced for alleged incompetence mainly also for letting go clear fouls against their team.
After treatment, Mkandawire retaliated in an off the ball situation injuringhis opponent seriously, rendering Phiri not to continue playing the game and had to be replaced with Ekari Salanya.
When the game resumed Bullets tried everything within their power to take lead and could have scored in 34th minute following a goal area melee, where Divason Mlozi in a failed attempt to pounce on loose ball fell down. His penalty appeal was just ignored.
The rookies fired back and could have scored from a free kick by Steve Mbale but his powerful was tipped over the crossbar by Bullets first choice goal custodian, Owen Chaima.
Another momentous occasion for Bullets came in the 43rd minute when Dalitso Sailesi rifled a long range drive which was spectacularlysaved by Mzuzu United custodian Chimwemwe Kumkwawa.
The situation ended goalless when the whistle was blown.
Then there was drama as the officiating personnel had to remain on field of play for several minutes when Bullets fans attempted to block the way to the dressing room and police security personnel who were mostly deployed to man the gates were called in to escort the beleaguered referees.
After recess, Bullets mounted waves of attack to grab a winner and could have registered cricket score had they utilized the numerous opportunities that came their way.
Like in the 59th minute Mlozi panicked and failed to tuck the ball into the net after Mzuzu’s Kumkwawa had spilled Fischer Kondowe goal bound shot.
Similar chances came in the way of Bullets later who literally camped in the Mzuzu United camp but all were wasted. In 65th minute Brown Mizeyi could have nodded home a well-curled Kondowe free kick but missed by skin of teeth with goalkeeper at his mercy.
The only occasion when United had a chance to put the ball behind the net was in 84th minute when Mbale close range effort was spectacularly tamed by Chaima.
On the field of play, the final whistle found Bullets still pounding on the rookies at will but the lads fiercely resisted.
Drama erupted again when fourth official, Peter Simwaka indicated five minutes added time but this did not go down well with Bullets Team Manager, Noel Kawole who fiercely protested at the decision because the official had shown the time prematurely when full time to play had not run out.
In a post match interview, Bullets captain was short of words to describe the barren out come.
“We threw everything into the game and created a lot of chances unfortunately it was not our day. However, a point is still not very bad. It is part of the game. Our fans should not lose hope we will fight hard in the next games,” said Kondowe.
His counterpart Lackson Nyoni was however satisfied with the outcome citing the departure of Lazarous Deco Nyemera and Madalitso Chiumia to Silver Strikers that he said left a huge gap in their squad.
“We have lost two of our key players. What we are doing now is playing a catch up game having roped new players who have yet to gel in our squad. To us a draw is a fair result,” said Nyoni.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :