Bullets, Wanderers in barren draw: Malawi TNM Super League

Blantyre based giants Mighty Wanderers and Big Bullets on Saturday dropped valuable league points after playing a barren draw in a tough TNM Super League affair played before a jam-packed Civo Stadium in Lilongwe.

In normal circumstances, Kamuzu Stadium was supposed to host the commercial city derby but hosts Mighty Wanderers opted for Civo Stadium, having been banned from playing home games at the giant stadium in Blantyre.

The game itself proved tough for both sides especially the hosts ‘Nyerere’, who never produced the form that saw them lift the Standard Bank Knock-Out Cup after seeing off tough sides like Red Lions, Kamuzu Barracks and defending TNM Super League champions Silver Strikers.

From the early moments, Bullets forced the Nyerere on the back foot, prompting coach Steward Mbolembole to make three changes in the second half.

Chakwera grants interview to ZBS’ Mike Bango at half time, Pic Leonard Sharra

Mbolembole, who was returning from a two-match touch-line ban first took out in-effective Benard Harawa for Victor Mpinganjira before pushing in midfielder striker Kondwani Kumwenda and midfielder Jacob Ngwira and striker Diverson Chilemba and defender Francis Mlimbika.

Bullets, who were without injured captain Fischer ‘Anong’a’ Kondowe only made one substitution, bringing in veteran striker Heston Munthali for midfielder Henry Kabichi.

Despite failing to past league leaders Red Lions on the log, Mbolembole welcomed the result, saying his side never played to win.

“It was not our best performance. We were a little nervous and kept playing in our own half instead of taking the game to our opponents. Bullets have experienced players and are used to playing before such an intimidating atmosphere and they closed us up, making it difficult for us to play our usual game,” said the Wanderers’ coach.

His counterpart Gerald Phiri said he was disappointed with the draw.

“We played better than Wanderers and were supposed to win this game. We prepared well for this match and rectified all our weaknesses and am not happy that we have drawn,” said Phiri.

With the draw, Wanderers have joined leaders Red Lions on top of the table with 41 points from 24 games but are still second with an inferior goal-difference.

Bullets have moved from 36 to 37 points from the same number of games as Wanderers.

Among notable personalities who watched the match was Malawi Congress Party (MCP) presidential hopeful Dr Lazarous Chakwera who was clad in Malawi national football team red jersey and a blue jean trouser.

In other games, Environ FC prolonged their stay in the league with a 2-1 win over visiting Blue Eagles with Civo cruising to a 3-0 win over relegated Mzuzu United at Mzuzu Stadium.

Azam Tigers’ poor run continued with a 0-1 loss against visiting soldiers Kamuzu Barracks.

Bullets say a prayer before the game, Pic Leonard Sharra.
Nyerere pose for a photo before kick off, Pic Leonard Sharra.
Risky act! BB fans watch the game from the top of a floodlights’ tower, Pic Leonard Sharra
Tough talk, Nomads’ GS David Kanyenda and BB’s Higer Mkandawire before the game, Pic Leonard Sharra
Captains Wongani Kaipa, Douglas Chirambo pose with match officials before the match, Pic Leonard Sharra
Man of the match Chimango Kaira poses with Sulom’s Aggrey Khonje, Pic Leonard Sharra.

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