Malawi’s capital, Lilongwe was temporarily turned into a red city on Sunday, December 27, 2015 as Nyasa Big Bullets, the ‘People’s team,’ were officially crowned 2015 TNM Super League champions after signing off their league assignments with an academic fixture against Civil Service United (Civo) played at a packed Civo Stadium.
It was a memorable afternoon for Bullets’ fans and the 3-1 victory over the servants was just an icing on the cake.
At first, it looked like the crowning party would be subdued when winger Gerald Nkungula headed in a cross from Josophat ‘Khosokhoso’ Kwalira to put the hosts in front after 17 minutes.
But Bullets responded just three minutes later- courtesy of an own goal by Civo defender Richard Chande, brother to Bullets’ striker Jafalie Chande.
Under pressure from Bullets’ hitman Chiukepo Msowoya, the Civo defender deflected the ball into his own net as he tried to clear a corner kick by man-of the-match McFallen Ngwira.
Bullets suffered a set-back before the break when Jaffalie Chande was replaced by Mussa Manyenje after picking an ankle injury.
Shortly after coming in, Manyenje taught the Civo defence how to defend as he accidentally blocked a Pilirani Zonda goal-bound shot to deny his own team a first half lead.
The pint-sized striker made up for the mistake eight minutes after resumption when he connected home a cross from Ngwira.
Msowoya registered his name on the scorers’ sheet on 59 minutes, beating Civo goalkeeper Duncan Mkandawire with a scorching shot straight from a free-kick.
The goal took his tally to 14 goals, meaning he has finished the season as joint top goal scorer with Red Lions’ Innicent Bokosi.
From then on, it was all celebrations in Bullets’ camp with some fans drenching themselves in milk as others sang and danced.
Speaking in a post-match interview, Bullets’ coach Mabvuto Lungu said he was happy to finish with a win against Civo.
“Though we already won the championship, it could have been bad for us to lose at this occasion. Civo is a tough side and they booted us out from the Standard Bank Knock-Out Cup. But we had a strategy for them today and it has worked out according to plan,” said Lungu.
His counter-part Oscar Kaunda congratulated Bullets for winning the championship.
“I congratulate Bullets for winning the championship and for today’s victory. On our part, we lost the plot in the first round after losing so many games but God gave us the Standard Bank Knock-Out Cup. I salute my boys for the hard work,” said Kaunda.
After the game, sponsors Telekom Networks Malawi (TNM) presented a brand new trophy to Bullets through Sports and Culture Minster Grace ‘Obama’ Chiumia right on the pitch.
Meanwhile, Bullets sworn rivals Be Forward Mighty Wanderers team manager Steve Madeira paid tribute to the champions for their “deserved” title win.
“They have been fantastic this season and deserve to be at the top of table where they are.
“We dropped points at crucial stages and that has probably cost us although that should take nothing away from Bullets, who have been brilliant. I want to congratulate Nyasa Big Bullets.
“Wanderers will be back next season to give them a good title challenge,” said Madeira.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :