A second-half strike from substitute Bright Munthali gave Nyasa Big Bullets a 0-1 win over Kamuzu Barracks in a friendly match played at Civo Stadium in Lilongwe on Saturday afternoon.
This was Bullets’ second pre-season win in the two matches played in readiness for the 2020/21 soccer season, which kicks off next week. The People’s Team beat Ntopwa FC 1-0 at Kamuzu Stadium on Tuesday.
Munthali jelled well with fellow substitute Gomezgani Chirwa as the pair created clear cut chances before the former’s strike, which came in the 81st minute when he connected home Henry Kabichi’s free-kick, following a foul on Chirwa outside the penalty area.
Coach Kalisto Pasuwa made three changes to the side that beat Ntopwa, handing starts to Precious Phiri, Zicco Mkanda and Aziz Mwakifuna.
The visitors struggled in the early minutes of the match due to a bumpy pitch, but slowly came back into the action through Ernest Petro and Henry Kabichi who paired in front of defensive midfielder Mwakifuna.
Bullets’ closest chance came after 28 minutes when Petro made his way into the box before sending a low cross, which found Phiri unmarked, unfortunately his shot was well saved by KB’s goalkeeper.
At the other end of the field, Kelvin Hanganda forced Richard Chimbamba into action when his cross inside the penalty box almost landed in the path of Gregory Nachipo, but the NBB ‘keeper was quick to save the situation.
The energetic hosts grew into somewhat scrappy game and began to edge proceedings, however to unlock Ben Manyozo and Sankhani Mkandawire’s led defence proved too futile.
Pasuwa’s side continued to struggle to find rhythm against the military side, eager to make an impression and were indebted to a smart save from Chimbamba just before the recess. The goalkeeper blocked Nachipo’s low, hard shot at the near post after the winger had broken through the left of his defence.
In the second half, it was almost similar to the opening half as the midfield battle intensified, however, to break the goal scoring jinx proved too difficult for both sides.
Pasuwa made five changes in the 66th minute when Patrick Phiri, Pilirani Zonda, Manyozo, Mkanda and Ernest Petro paved the way for Luke Chima, Munthali, Miracle Gabeya, Nelson Kangunje and Chirwa.
Bullets started to dominate through Chirwa and Munthali who kept Nashon Harazi and Mike Ntonyo busy throughout the remaining minutes.
The TNM Super League defending champions had a very good scoring chance when Kangunje combined well with Chima before releasing Munthali who blasted wide from close range, before he broke the deadlock in the 81st with a brilliant header to make it 0-1.
Pasuwa made his final two changes when he brought in Mike Mkwate and MacPhallen Mgwira for Henry Kabichi and Precious Phiri.
The pair combined well moments after coming in when Mgwira delivered a million dollar pass into the box only for Mkwate to curl his effort just over the bar when the goalkeeper was nowhere near his goal line.
As Kamuzu Barracks hoped for an equalizer, Bullets stood firm at the back to register their second pre-season win before travelling to Dwangwa on Sunday for their final pre-season match against MAFCO FC at Chitowe Ground.