Nyasa Big Bullets Reserves were in demolition mode as they swept aside Chinamwali Stars 0-6 in the first leg of the Nyasa Capital Finance Regional League Cup quarter-finals at Balaka Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Enos Chatama had several of his starting eleven players out due to injuries and had to hand first time starts to Felix Demakude and Thomson Magombo whilst White Kitseni had to improvise to the left back position in place of Sydney Chabulika.
The hosts dominated the opening minutes and they had their first chance in the 10th minute through Sunganani Tchale, who saw his effort inside the penalty box hitting the woodwork.
Moments later, Mapopa Munthali combined well with Tchale to release Elisah Zomba, who did everything right with the ball only to be denied by Clever Mkungula’s brilliant save.
In the 18th minute, Stanley Billiat produced a brilliant pass to Patrick Mwaungulu who made a first time connection, but Stambuli Ntolilo was very alert with a good save.
Five minutes later Frank Willard almost scored a beauty when his well curved shot missed the goal mouth with an inch for a goal kick.
It was now a one-sided affair towards the last twenty minutes of the half, with Emmanuel Savieli, Mwaungulu, Billiat and Demakude pressing harder in search of a goal, but Ntoliro was very outstanding between the sticks.
In the 43rd minute, Bililat’s penalty shout was turned down by referee Jafali Malunga, who then awarded the spot kick to the home side after Kitseni’s foul on Tchale.
Chikumbutso Chinomba stepped up only to send his effort wide off Mkungula’s left goal post, 0-0.
In the second half, Bullets Reserves produced a fantastic performance, which saw them scoring six within a space of 35 minutes.
But this was made possible with the coming in of Chikumbutso Salima, who replaced Demakude in the right flank of the field.
The first goal came in the 49th minute in a brilliant fashion.
Mwaungulu demonstrated his immaculate level of skill when he dribbled past Chinomba before sending a through ball to Bililat, who made no mistake by slotting the ball past Ntoliro to the top corner, 0-1.
The combination of Mwaungulu, Salima, Savieli and Bililat was lethal and caused havoc as the hosts could not tame their pace.
In the 54th minute, Mwaungulu registered his name on the scoresheet with a simple tap in after receiving a pass from Savieli inside the six-yard box, 0-2.
The enterprising winger doubled his tally in the 60th minute when he dribbled past Chinomba, Innocent Gwetsani and Mphatso Masiye before releasing a thunderous shot outside the penalty box to the top corner, 0-3.
Chatama then replaced Magombo for Lyton Chinong’one to try to increase his attacking options.
And in the 72nd minute, Mwaungulu completed his hat-trick.
The winger outsmarted Chinomba before pulling the trigger outside the penalty box which was just too much for Ntoliro to stop, 0-4.
In the 75th minute, Savieli made his way into the box but his shot went wide with the goalkeeper already beaten in the line of duty.
But the pace forward couldn’t be stopped in the 78th minute when he touted the hosts’ defense and put the ball beyond Ntoliro’s reach to make it 0-5.
As his side was still celebrating, Savieli scored his second goal when Masiye lost possession to the attacker, who wasted no time by producing a simple finish to make it 0-6 to the visitors.
Chatama then made a double substitution in the 81st minute when he brought in Chimwemwe Yassin and Macray Chiwaya for Willard and Savieli.
Bullets had three more chances towards the end of the 90th minute mark, but Chatama’s boys settled for a six goal margin heading into the second leg to be played at Kamuzu Stadium on Saturday this weekend.
Speaking after the match, Chatama hailed his boys for a “never give up” attitude despite conceding a penalty towards the end of the first half.
“I told the boys it wasn’t over and they played to my instructions in the second half to score those six goals. It was a difficult first half where we failed to score a goal and conceded a penalty, but in the second half we came out good and scored all those goals, so kudos to my players for such a spirited performance,” said Chatama.
A win in the second leg will see the junior Bullets progressing to the semifinals of the competition.