FCB Nyasa Big Bullets came from behind to draw 1-1 in the Blantyre derby against rivals Mighty Mukuru Wanderers at the Kamuzu Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
With a long-range effort, captain Stanley Sanudi opened the scoring in the first half before Maxwell Gasten Phodo equalized for us in the final period.
All eyes on the top spot, the two sides started the 72nd Blantyre derby with keen interest to establish the lead first.
And as the old foes exchanged spells of dominance whilst the minutes flew with suspenseful action on both ends it would be the Nomads who first found the breakthrough.
Leading another of the Nomads’ attacks in the 35th minute, Sanudi went for the spectacular when he shot from long range and managed to beat Rabson Chiyenda to make it 0-1.
Then the defending champions provided an instant response by creating a series of chances which went away begging a telling touch until the halftime break arrived with Mark Harrison’s side in the lead.
Pasuwa felt there was a need to swiftly step up in the tie and made half-time changes by introducing captain Precious Sambani for Erick Kaonga and Hassan Kajoke for Antony Mfune.
Following the double change, Maule pushed dangerously into the final third and eventually got their equalizer through Phodo twelve minutes after the restart. The forward was at the right place and alert to tap in after Nomads goalie William Thole fumbled a strong attempt at goal from substitute Kajoke.
Looking for a force to inspire a comeback, Pasuwa then threw Blessings Mpokera in the hurtling battle of the tie for youngster Yankho Singo who had an hour of quite impressive football in the middle of the park.
We then looked the most likely to get the much desired second goal but we could only come nearer to accomplishing that.
On the other side, the Nomads also made a couple of changes which saw Vitumbiko Kumwenda, Fransisco Madinga and Miracle Gabeya being introduced and with those changes, they reclaimed the spell of dominance.
As the clock ran down, the visitors on the day nearly restored their lead but were denied by excellent concentration by our defenders who cleared each time they attempted to score through their game changings subs.
Ten minutes to go before full time, we were dealt with the blow of losing Chiyenda after he sustained an injury. Replacing him was Richard Chimbamba who went on to withstand the late invasion from the Nomads until a stalemate was confirmed by the final whistle, 1-1 the highly attended Blantyre derby finished.
What it means
Now left with five games to finish the season, lading at the top and doing that with three games in hand over the second-placed Wanderers, who now only remain with two games to wrap up their campaign, Bullets will rejoice from today’s draw as the fifth consecutive league title now seems theirs to give away.
The sharing of points today means that there is no movement in the log table for the two sides.
Kalisto Pasuwa’s men remain at the top of the log table with 54 points from 25 games, thanks to their goal superiority over the Nomads who have the same number of points from 28 games.
Midweek league action follows up for Bullets after today’s match as they will take a trip to Balaka Stadium where they will face the 15th-placed relegated-threatened Red Lions, who we defeated 4-0 in the first round of the campaign.