Nyasa Big Bullets head coach Kalisto Pasuwa is impressed by his players’ fighting spirit in the TNM Super League title defence.
Bullets have scored important late goals in the last three games to collect seven points out of nine against Ekwendeni Hammers, Civil Service Club and Mighty Wanderers, the last two coming from behind.
The People’s Team netted a 90th minute goal away to Ekwendeni a fortnight ago to bag full points in a 0-1 victory, before coming from behind to defeat Civo 2-1 at Kamuzu Stadium a week ago after conceding at the quarter-hour mark.
Bullets conceded another early goal in the 13th minute in Saturday’s game against the Nomads. Meshack Seleman came off the bench to see his low cross into the six-yard box deflected off Yunus Sheriff’s foot into his own net ten minutes before the match was abandoned in the 80th minute due to acts of violence by a section of home supporters protesting against some refereeing decisions and forcing the police to fire teargas.
“I am impressed by the fighting spirit in my players. They are always fighting up to the last minute, which is positive for us,” Pasuwa told Bullets Media hours after the game against Wanderers.
Reacting to the outcome of the derby, Pasuwa, who is eyeing his third successive TNM Super League title, added: “It was a good game where we got a good run.”
He however expressed disappointment with the goal and the time his boys conceded against the archrivals.
“I was not happy in the manner we conceded that goal. We were just 13 minutes into the game and [the] defence failed to deal with that situation, yet we had earlier discussed such situations.
“[But] besides letting in that goal, I think I was impressed with my players. They don’t change their game plan even when they are trailing. Wanderers had only one shot on target, which was their goal, meaning my players contained them. Of course there were some grey areas, but I would focus more on the positives than negatives,” explained the head coach.
When drawn to comment on the scenes that led to the abandonment of the game, the mentor said it was very unfortunate that the game had to end with ten minutes to play.
“It was very unfortunate for our game to end prematurely. A game of football is played for 90 plus minutes and no doubt a lot could have happened in the last minutes, which could have changed the outcome of the game,” said Pasuwa.
The coach also took time to denounce the harassment of match officials.
“I personally do not normally comment on referees’ decisions since l am not an expert in that area. What l would just condemn is the harassment of match officials for whatever reasons. All l heard from our analysis department was that most calls by the referee were spot on. I will also have my own personal say after watching the video which l am yet to.
“About the [reaction of the] fans, l can’t say much because no matter how l feel l cannot change their mindset. The bottom line is that football is a beautiful family game that each and everyone one should come to enjoy without thinking of their safety. Safety should be a guarantee which l feel all stakeholders should work hard to achieve.”
The People’s Team will on Monday return to training and shift focus to this weekend’s away league fixture against Silver Strikers, who are at the top of the table with 32 points from 14 games against Bullets’ 26 points and a game in hand. The Bankers drew 0-0 at home against Mighty Tigers on Sunday.