Nyasa Big Bullets’ eight-year unbeaten run at home in the TNM Super League came to an end on Saturday afternoon after losing 0-1 to cross town rivals Mighty Wanderers at Kamuzu Stadium.
Bullets head coach Kalisto Pasuwa made several changes to the side that drew 1-1 with MAFCO FC on Wednesday as he handed starts to Lanjesi Nkhoma, Chiukepo Msowoya, Gomezgani Chirwa and Sankhani Mkandawire.
It was a lackluster performance from the hosts, who completely lost the midfield battle to Felix Zulu and Alfred Manyozo Junior.
The first chance of the match saw Vincent Nyangulu heading the ball over the cross bar from Stainley Sanudi’s corner.
At the other end, Babatunde Adepoju had a chance to put The People’s Team in the lead, however his header went wide of the woodwork.
Bullets had another chance in the 21st minute through Msowoya, unfortunately the striker sent his effort straight at Richard Chipuwa.
Despite creating few chances, it was the Nomads who scored in the 31st minute through Nyangulu, who was found unmarked inside the six yard box by Yamikani Chester, 0-1.
Bullets almost equalized through Hassan Kajoke moments later when he received a through ball from Babatunde, but the forward was too slow to make a decision with his weaker shot easily saved by Chipuwa.
In the 38th minute, Msowoya’s long range shot was saved by Chipuwa for a corner, which he also did well by denying Hassan Kajoke.
In the second half, Pasuwa brought in acFallen Mgwira for Kajoke and this change brought some rhythm to the defending champions, who were now attacking from all angles in search of an equalizer, but Chipuwa was very outstanding for the visitors.
Wanderers almost buried the game in the 51st minute when Chimango Kayira lost possession to Chester, who made a quick decision to release Wisdom Mpinganjira but the winger was very unlucky as he was denied by the post.
At the other end, a cross from Babatunde into the box was well connected by Mgwira who thought the ball was inside the net only to be denied by Chipuwa’s brilliant save for a corner.
Four minutes later, Bullets created another golden opportunity when Babatunde delivered a very dangerous ball into the box, but Peter Cholopi arrived quickly to clear the ball away for a corner when Mgwira was just seconds away from putting the ball into the back of the net.
Pasuwa made another change when he brought in Meshack Seleman for Nkhoma, and the newly introduced man nearly made an imminent impact when his beautiful pass inside the box was whisked away by Yunus Sherrif, with Babatunde waiting to just produce a simple tap in.
As Bullets kept on attacking, Wanderers coach Bob Mpinganjira sensed danger and introduced Rafick Namwera and Mike Kaziputa for Wisdom and Vitumbiko Kumwenda.
And it was in the 75th minute when Wanderers had their best chance in the half when Chester dribbled past Chirwa to find Nyangulu, who had a clear view of the goal and did everything right to shoot at goal but Chimbamba produced a fantastic save to deny the Nomads their second goal of the day.
Two minutes later, Zicco Mkanda and Alick Lungu were introduced for Babatunde and Yamikani Fodya to try to increase their attacking options upfront.
The home side almost found an equalizer twice in a roll, however Mkandawire’s powerful headers from close range missed the goal mouth with just an inch and despite pressing for the much needed goal, Bullets’ dominance over Wanderers finally came to an end with a defeat.
The People’s Team missed another opportunity to extend the lead at the top of the standings over Silver Strikers and now lead with just one point with two games to play.
Bullets, who have an away assignment against Kamuzu Barracks on Saturday, have 56 points from 28 games whilst Silver have 55 points from the same number of games as Wanderers come third with 51 points from 27 games.