Nyasa Big Bullets’ TNM Super League title defence suffered yet another setback following a goalless draw against bottom of the table side Mzuzu Warriors on Sunday afternoon.
The People’s Team lost five points out of a possible six in their Northern Region outing after suffering a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Moyale Barracks at Mzuzu Stadium 24 hours earlier.
Continuing his squad rotation to try and keep his players rejuvenated for the remainder of the season, Kalisto Pasuwa also made six changes to the side that lost to Moyale, with Chimwemwe Idana, Gomezgani Chirwa, McFallen Mgwira, Chimango Kayira, Miracle Gabeya and Yamikani Fodya all returning to the first eleven.
Bullets started brightly and should have found the back of the net in the 8th minute through Zicco Mkanda, whose header instead went over the cross bar.
Ten minutes later Ernest Petro delivered a brilliant cross into the box, which was well connected by Mgwira, unfortunately the ball went wide to the relief of the hosts.
At the other end, Richard Chimbamba was called into action in the 27th minute when he produced a brilliant save to deny Uchizi Vunga from scoring through a free kick.
There was a half-chance for the visitors with Hassan Kajoke finding himself played in on goal, however goalkeeper Pilirani Mapira was well placed to rescue the hosts, who were playing too deep in order not to concede.
Chimbamba was almost caught out by a ball into the box by Taniel Mhango in the 42nd minute, fortunately the Bullets ‘keeper ultimately sent the ball out of danger.
In the second half, Mzuzu Warriors began to run their opponents, looking to benefit on the counter, but they failed to unlock Bullets’ defense which was led by Nickson Nyasulu and Gabeya as centre halves as Chirwa and Fodya operated on the sides of the back four.
Bright Munthali and Precious Phiri came on for Petro and Mgwira in the 60th minute as Bullets tried to push for a goal, but the hosts defended jealously to frustrate the defending champions.
Mkanda headed a 63rd minute corner off the target while Fodya’s free kick three minutes later fizzed past Mapira in Mzuzu Warriors’ goal for a goal kick.
In the 68th minute, Chimbamba produced another brilliant save to deny Vunga from scoring from a free kick and The People’s Team conceded a corner, which had no impact as the ball landed into the hands of the goal minder.
Bullets were leaving dangerously and they should have conceded when Mhango overpowered Nyasulu to produce a bullet header which was equally saved by impressive Chimbamba, who surely saved Bullets from conceding.
Mkanda was then replaced by Lanjesi Nkhoma to try to force something out of the match, but Mzuzu Warriors could not open up at the back.
With the clock ticking fast for Bullets, Mzuzu Warriors deployed delaying tactics, with every touch resulting into a goal kick or a player failing down.
Bullets tried everything to force a result but the hosts stood firm to frustrate the visitors, who have now registered seven draws, fourteen wins and three losses in the current league campaign.
The result sees Bullets still maintaining their position at the top with 49 points, and level with the second-placed Silver Strikers who won 2-1 over Blue Eagles at Nankhaka on Sunday. Bullets however have a game in hand and will face Red Lions away at Mpira Stadium in Chiwembe on Thursday.