Nyasa Big Bullets on Sunday wrapped up the 2020/21 pre-season friendly matches with a 0-1 victory over MAFCO FC at Chitowe Ground in Dwangwa.
Mcfallen Mgwira came off the bench to score the winning goal for The People’s Team, a day after beating Kamuzu Barracks in the second pre-season game played at Civo Stadium in Lilongwe.
Sunday’s win was the third following the first victory against Ntopwa in the opening match of the preparations in Blantyre last Tuesday.
Coach Kalisto Pasuwa made nine changes to the side that won 1-0 to Kamuzu Barracks 24 hours earlier, with Ben Manyozo and Aziz Mwakifuna the only players to retain their places in the starting XI.
The highlight of the match was the performance of Mwakifuna, who cleaned the midfield against the tough tackling military side.
Unlike on Saturday, when Bullets struggled to cope with the pitch at the Civo Stadium, The People’s Team started brightly and they should have been ahead in the 10th minute when Gomezgani Chirwa delivered a cross that found Nelson Kangunje alone in the box, only for the attacker to head over the cross bar.
The energetic visitors kept on pushing and had another clear cut chance after the half-hour mark when Kangunje combined well with Bright Munthali to release Luke Chima, who could only manage a weaker shot straight into goalkeeper Jailosi Kapalamula’s hands.
As the match was approaching the half time, Kangunje wasted another good scoring opportunity when he blasted his effort over the bar.
In the second half, the hosts were the first to knock at Rabson Chiyenda’s goal when a sublime move, great work from Zikani Sichinga and Walusungu Mpata, released Kingsley Nkhonjera from the right only to see his effort well saved by the Bullets custodian.
Pasuwa introduced Henry Kabichi for Kangunje who picked a knock, while Mgwira came in for Chima in the 60th minute.
The hosts had another chance when Sichinga was left unmarked in the box but his effort within the six-yard box missed the goal mouth with an inch.
Mgwira then squandered Bullets’ closest chance when he fired over the cross bar from Mike Mkwate’s low pass closer to the penalty box.
In the 68th minute Bullets made a double change, bringing in Zicco Mkanda and Pilirani Zonda for Chiukepo Msowoya and Munthali.
Mkanda was the change that the visitors needed as he kept MAFCO defenders at bay.
Pasuwa made his final change of the day when Patrick Phiri replaced Mkwate to push for the winning goal as the visitors’ defence proved too difficult to unlock, before Mgwira broke the deadlock in the 80th minute.
A cross from Mkanda found Patrick Phiri who wasted no time by heading the ball at goal only to be denied by the post, before landing into the path of the advanced Mgwira, who simply made a tap in finish to give the visitors a lead.
The hosts almost responded within seconds when Chiyenda left his line to clear the ball away but was outsmarted by Martin Masoatheka, who did everything right only to see his effort missing the goal with an inch.
MAFCO kept on coming for an equalizer and almost scored through Kingsley Nkhonjera but his shot was well blocked by Miracle Gabeya.
Despite the pressure from the hosts, Bullets held on to register back to back wins in their final pre-season matches ahead of the new season that kicks off next weekend with the Ecobank Charity Shield.