Nyasa Big Bullets started their TNM Super League title defence in style after beating their arch-rivals Mighty Wanderers 2-1 Kamuzu Stadium yesterday at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre.
The defending champions featured a well-balanced team, blending talented youthful starlets and experienced players in contrast to their opponents who had in their starting line-up battle scarred campaigners.
The People’s Team threw in goalkeeper Richard Chimbamba, with Ketsen Simbi, Hadji Wali, Gomegzani Chirwa and Precious Sambani in defence, Blessings Mpokera, Chimwemwe Idana, Henry Kabichi and Lanjezi Nkhoma anchored the midfield with Misheck Seleman and former Wanderers Nigerian striker Babatunde Adepoju Adebayo leading the attack.
On the other hand, Wanderers featured Pilirani Mapila in goals with former Bullets defender Miracle Gabeya, Stanley Sanudi, Peter Cholopi and Ted Sumani providing the rear guard. The midfield was led by captain Alfred Mayozo Jnr, Frank Zulu, Yamikani Chester, Vitumbiko Kumwenda and former Bullets and Flames talismanic striker Chiukepo Msowoya.
This was a long awaited match, especially for former Bullets Gabeya and Msowoya, who were released to prove a point.
However it was never the case as Bullets took an early in the 16th minute through last season’s Player of the Season Chimwemwe Idana.
This was a well-deserved lead as the People’s Team too dominated over their rivals for a good part of the first half although it was the Lali Lubani Boys who set the tone of the game.
However, Wanderers reorganised themselves in search of an equaliser, which never came until the 78th minute through Vincent Nyangulu.
But the euphoria did not last as Bullets restored the lead in the 82nd minute through substitute Anthony Mfune.
Wanderers efforts to force the game into a draw did not materialise as Bullets held their nerves to start their title defence in style.
In an interview, Wanderers assistant coach Joseph Kamwendo said the result was not a true reflection of the match.
“It was a good game. We played better but our rivals have won the bragging rights for winning the game. We are impressed with the performance which has given us confidence that the future is bright,” he said.
Bullets’ Zimbabwean coach said he was impressed with the energy and verve that his young-guns displayed in the game.
“The difference was speed. They played very well in both sides of the halves. Wanderers came in hard early in the game and we came again towards the end of the first half. I am smiling all the way because we have got a young team. We need to do more for us not to lose concentration,” he said.
In other games played on Saturday, Karonga United lost 1-3 to Kamuzu Barracks while Mzimba-based Ekwedeni Hammers made a positive start to the campaign with a 2-1 win over Kasunga-based TN Stars.
Sunday, Tigers vs Moyale at Mpira Stadium, Red Lions vs Silver Strikers at Balaka Stadium, Civo Service vs Sable Farming at Civo Stadium, Rumphi United vs Dedza Dynamos at Rumphi Stadium.
CAPTION: Bullets players after Idana scored the first goal
PICTURE CREDIT: NYASA BIG BULLETSFollow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :