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Match report: Kamuzu Barracks 0-0 Bullets

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FCB Nyasa Big Bullets registered a seventh draw of the season following a goalless stalemate against Kamuzu Barracks at Civo Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The People’s Team had one of their best performances this campaign and did everything to get all the points, creating chance after chance, and pressing from all angles, but just like the previous matches, a goal couldn’t come at the end of 90 minutes.

What happened

The hosts started brightly in the opening minutes of the tie by exchanging passes and had their first chance in the third minute when Lloyd Aaron conceded a foul closer to our penalty area.

Hope Namadzunda stepped up to release a powerful shot that forced Innocent Nyasulu to make his first save of the day for a corner kick, which was easily dealt with by Nickson Nyasulu.

Zeliat Nkhoma threatened Bullets moments later with a low cross-shot bound for the goal, luckily Nyasulu was very quick to react with a timely clearance.

Immediately after missing those two chances, it was Bullets’ turn to pounce on the hosts when Patrick Mwaungulu made a brilliant run to the right before he got his dangerous cross intercepted by Sam Chibvunde for a corner kick.

From the set piece, KB’s defence was caught napping and failed to clear a long ball from Aaron, who invited Hastings Banda to an aerial combat. Their ‘keeper Hastings Banda lost the battle when Babatunde Adepoju rose high only to send his header inches away from the post.

The defending champions kept pressing for a goal and nearly broke the deadlock in the 14th minute when Anthony Mfune won the ball on the edge of the penalty box before releasing a thunderous shot that missed Banda’s right-hand post with an inch.

Next to try Banda was Precious Phiri, whose attempt was well dealt with by the shot-stopper, who was in control of everything thrown at him by the high-pressing Bullets.

For the next ten minutes, it was Bullets versus Banda with the home ‘keeper coming out top to handle two back-to-back corner kicks as the visitors pushed for a goal to unsettle the highly motivated Maule.

The People’s Team had another chance in the 33rd minute, only for Mfune to send his effort off target.

KB’s defence failed to close gaps inside the six-yard box.

As Bullets kept hunting for a goal, they opened up at the back and nearly conceded in the 43rd minute when Nkhoma spotted Nyasulu out of his line. The striker wasted no time by firing at goal but was unfortunate as his effort missed the target, and that was all for the half, 0-0.

After the recess, Banda was at it again, stretching his legs to make a brilliant save that denied Babatunde, who was set through by Mwaungulu after the winger brilliantly exchanged passes with Phiri and Aaron.

In the 52nd minute, Babatunde moved into shooting space before his goal-bound attempt was blocked by Gerald Chirwa. At this moment, it was Bullets all over the place. Unluckily, the visitors couldn’t make any breakthrough.

With 57 minutes played, KB had their first realistic chance in the half when Nyasulu was caught in no man’s land before losing aerial combat to Nkhoma, but the loose ball was cleared by Aaron before it crossed the line.

Three minutes after the hour mark, Phiri missed a glorious opportunity that should have given us a lead.

Crispin Mapemba started a move that found Mwaungulu and our number 11 chipped the ball inside the area to find the unmarked right-back, who fired over the crossbar when the goal was wide open with Banda already beaten.

Charles Kamanga was first to make a substitution when he brought on Kelvin Hang’anda for Chirwa as he looked to stabilize the midfield.

Still, the hosts couldn’t stop the high-pressing Bullets, who were all over the place in desperate search of a goal.

Pasuwa’s men had another chance in the 70th minute when Mwaungulu found Chawanangwa Gumbo unmarked on the edge of the box, unfortunately, the midfielder saw his shot off Banda’s upright in unbelievable circumstances.

Bullets introduced Stanley Billiat and Ernest Petro for Mfune and Gumbo and these changes saw us increasing our attacking prowess and continued creating chances the defending champions couldn’t bury.

At 80 minutes, Mwaungulu did everything to dribble past Chibvunde before his low cross was connected by Babatunde who hit the post before the offside flag went up.

Three minutes later, Mwaungulu had his powerful shot stopped by Banda, before another miss from Mapemba, to sum up, another frustrating afternoon for the 2023 quadruple winners, and after 90 minutes of play, goalless it ended.

What it means

The latest draw still leaves Bullets fifth in the table with 16 points from 11 games, while the Lilongwe-based soldiers are second with 20 points from the same number of games.

What next

Bullets will return to Blantyre and switch focus to the FDH Bank Cup Round of 32 tie away to Bangwe All Stars on a date to be announced by the Football Association of Malawi in the next few days.

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