Super League defending champions Silver Strikers Saturday had a superiority edge over Presidential Initiative on Sports (PIS)Trophy defending champions Big Bullets beating them 1-0 in a game that was only played for 60 minutes.
This was a rare encounter for Mzuzu soccer fans who expected fireworks and goal galore. The fans, which included Minister of Youth and Sports Enock Chihana, filled Mzuzu Stadium to capacity; but the game did not live up to full billing.
Nonetheless, both sides tried to dig deep into their reserve tanks as some flashes of brilliance started flaring up here and there minutes into the game.
Silver showed they were in for serious contention in the early seconds when they were close to hit the back of the net when Dan Msimuko, Ndaona Daisi and Green Harawa terrorized Bullets half.
The sudden attack, which they launched in the early seconds of the game, could have seen Harawa easily slot the ball into the net but fully stretched Bullets custodian, Vincent Gona was equal to task pushing the ball to safety for abortive corner kick.
As minutes wore on, Bullets fought back. They churned out well calculated build ups from the back to the midfield, with Dalitso Sailesi making most of the moves on the flanks to feed the lone fighter, Diverson Mlozi. But they were unable to provide the final killer punch.
The Bullets only came close in 21st minute when Mlozi squeezed the ball between Amadu Ali legs. The ball went wide and all chances they created later went begging till the whistle was blown after 30 minutes of play to mark the end of first half.
Silver Strikers were also on song in the early minutes of the second half as they started attacking wave after wave. But Bullets rearguard fiercely resisted.
Bullets’ resistance, however, broke down in the 36th minute. Jester Mulima floated a cross into Bullets D-Zone which found Ndaona Daisi whose glancing header fell in the direction of Harawa who unleashed a lightening scissors kick that flew straight into the net.
Bullets were stunned and poured in numbers in front chasing for an equalizer but all their efforts did not pay dividends.
The Bullets brought in the fresh legs of Jelesi Lufeyo, Samson Chonde, Yamikani Fodya and Ian Chinyama for Wellani Nyirenda, Henry Kabichi, Chikumbutso Kanyenda and Dalitso Siliva, respectively. The changes brought momentary change but their efforts to draw level went begging.
Silver assistant Coach Hellings Mwakasungula was satisfied with the win.
“We deserved the win today. We played very well though we trained only for a week as you know we are on off-season break and we had to scramble hurriedly our players to play in this encounter.
“On the other hand, our opponents were not in the mood I know them. They were not the same Bullets,” Mwakasungula said.
His counterpart Gerald Phiri attributed his team’s failure to fatigue.
“We travelled throughout the night. We did not have enough time to rest. As a result, fatigue took hold of my players. Again, we trained for two days only in preparing for this game,” Phiri said.–ManaFollow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :