A strike in each half from Yankho Singo and Babatunde Adepoju inspired Nyasa Big Bullets to a third-place finish in the Pamtsetse Bonanza, defeating Civil Service United 2-0 at the Bingu National Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
In an early kickoff, Kalisto Pasuwa once again made ten changes to the side that lost 0-1 to Silver Strikers on Saturday, with Blessings Mpokera the only face to retain his starting position, but today as a right wingback and not the position he played against the Central Bankers as a holding midfielder.
Pasuwa also handed Precious Sambani his first start since June last year after recovering from a knee injury.
The first goal scoring opportunity of the match was created by the hosts through Christopher Kumwembe, who dribbled past Kesten Simbi before he fired over the crossbar after he was closed down by Hadji Wali.
In the 8th minute, Adepoju decided to take things into his own hands when he outpaced John Dambuleni and Boston Kabango and with only Tione Tembo to beat, his left foot disappointed him as he fired over the bar.
Yamikani Fodya had an opportunity to find the back of the net from a setpiece, however the captain of the day, who was deployed as a defensive link man, his new position from left-back, decided to chip the ball inside the penalty box and the hosts easily defended.
But The People’s Team was able to break the deadlock two minutes after the half-hour mark when Tembo fumbled Lanjesi Nkhoma’s low drive into Singo’s path and the Bullets Reserves graduate wasted no time but tap into an empty net, to score his debut goal for Kalisto Pasuwa’s side, 0-1.
The lead would have been cut short when former Bullets attacker Patrick Phiri played through Juma Yatina, who was unfortunate not to find the back of the net as his shot missed Richard Chimbamba’s goal post with an inch and that was all for the half.
After the interval, Pasuwa made Bullets’ first substitution as Sambani was replaced by Eric Kaonga.
It only took eight minutes into the second period for Bullets to double their lead through Adepoju as Civil’s Lloyd Aaron lost possession in their defensive half and left his defense exposed. Singo created space for the forward, who was in a one-v-one situation with Tembo and the Nigerian powered home, 0-2.
Kaonga nearly registered his name on the scoresheet in the 60th minute when his long range shot missed Tembo’ goal with just a centimeter.
In the 70th minute, Pasuwa brought on Hassan Kajoke, Patrick Mwaungulu and Stanley Billiat for Yamikani Fodya, who had picked a knock, as well as Seleman and Adepoju.
But it was Civil Service United with plenty of chances in the final 20 minutes as Franco Ndawa’s men looked for a consolation goal. Luke Chima, who came on as a substitute was gifted the ball twice in the attacking zone, but the ex-Bullets forward lacked composure in front of goal.
Kumwembe had his shot well saved by Chimbamba in the 73rd minute as the hosts increased their attacking options through Ranken Mwale and Chima.
Righteous Banda was brought in to replace Nkhoma in the 80th minute, playing his first game since 2020 after sustaining an injury during pre-season training in Mangochi.
Mwale had a very good opportunity in the 86th minute when Wali and Simbi failed to communicate, allowing Civil to make their advances, but the midfielder fired over the crossbar in unbelievable circumstances and after 90 minutes of play, it ended 2-0 in favor of the 2020/21 domestic double champions.