Nyasa Big Bullets were in a frenzy when they registered their first big win of the season, thrashing Rumphi United 4-1 in the TNM Super League at Kamuzu Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
The win saw The People’s Team moving to within two points of log leaders Blue Eagles with 20 points.
Following a strong performance against Moyale Barracks on Wednesday at Mzuzu Stadium where Bullets won 1-2, coach Kalisto Pasuwa gave Patrick Mwaungulu and Kesten Simbi another chance to impress, with Hassan Kajoke and Precious Phiri replacing Babatunde Adepoju and Gomezgani Chirwa, who were both suspended after accumulating more yellow cards.
Looking for a second successive win, Bullets started on the front foot with as they pressed the visitors from the first whistle to create lots of goalscoring opportunities, but the visitors were a tough nut to crack as they looked well desciplined in defence.
With 13 minutes played, Precious Phiri found Ernest Petro with his brilliant cross, however the Bullets no.10 could not beat visiting goalkeeper Anthony Singini, who was equal to the task with a fantastic save.
Three minutes later, Henry Kabichi’s rocket from 28 yards out hit the upright when Singini was already beaten in the line of duty.
Despite the home team dominating play, it was Rumphi United who nearly grabbed a lead in the 22nd minute when Bullets goalkeeper Rabson Chiyenda misjudged Jacob Tembo’s cross from the right wing and the ball landed in the path of Trouble Kajani, who fired straight at goal only to be denied by Kesten Simbi, who made a timely intervention before the ball crossed the line.
The People’s Team kept on pressing and should have found the back of the net in the 25th minute through Kajoke, who received a pass from Phiri only for the forward to fail to power home inside the six-yard box.
The breakthrough came just before the half-hour mark through Idana, who scored from a rebound following a well taken corner kick from Mwaungulu and connected by Kajoke, who was unfortunate as his brilliant header hit the post before the 2020/21 Player of the Season and Best Midfielder pounced from close range to make it 1-0.
Pasuwa’s men doubled their lead in the 38th minute through Kajoke, who made a simple finish from yet another Mwaungulu set piece into the box after Precious Sambani’s header was well blocked by defender Chimwemwe Kaliyala but found the unmarked striker, who just placed the ball inside the net, 2-0.
Bullets showed no signs of remorse as they kept on pressing for more goals by keeping possession, leaving their opponents chasing throughout the half and were just lucky not to concede more towards the end of the opening period.
Kajoke went agonisingly close to notching a second goal in the 42nd minute when Nkhoma released him to the right, but Singini was very alert with a last minute save to keep his team into the game, 2-0 at the interval.
Bullets started the second half as they started the first, putting the Leopards of Chikulamayembe’s defence under intense pressure.
Petro nearly registered his name on the scoresheet in the 47th minute with a flicked attempt, but was denied by Singini, who defied the force of gravity to produce a stunning save.
And the chances continued to flow for the home team, with Idana firing high and wide before his midfield partner Kabichi saw his powerful shot crash against the side net.
The defending champions eventually added their third goal in the 52nd minute from the spot.
Mwaungulu used his pace to make his way into the box before he was brought down by Gondwe, leaving referee Mayamiko Kanjere with no choice but to award the home team a penalty from which Kajoke stepped up to smash the ball home, 3-0.
Bullets completed the riot on 64th minute with a brilliant goal. Nkhoma was the architect when he got the better of Mabvuto Gondwe before a throughball to Kajoke who later found Mwaungulu unmarked in the penalty box to score past defenseless Singini, 4-0.
It was now dancing time for the hosts who, at certain point, had possession for more than eight minutes, passing at will and attacking like nobody’s business and they should have had two more goals, but Singini came to the visitors’ rescue with some series of brilliant saves.
70 minutes on the clock, McFallen Mgwira and Eric Kaonga replaced Mwaungulu and Sambani whilst Festus Chikweza, Gondwe and Foster Kanyenda were all replaced by Edward Mkandawire, Alick Harawa and Nathan Msiska.
Kajani then pulled one back for the visitors with a simple finish after a defensive relapse from the home team to slot the ball into the far corner, 4-1.
Kajani almost had his second of the afternoon moments later when his volley from a well calculated move hit the woodwork, a relief to Bullets who were in disarray towards the end of the match.
As the visitors found their rhythm, coach Kalisto Pasuwa had to bring on board Nickson Nyasulu, Yankho Singo and Thomson Magombo for John Lanjesi, Idana and Kabichi to try to slow down the visitors, who were coming wave after wave in search for goals to reduce the arrears, but Bullets held on to collect maximum points and close in on log leaders Blue Eagles who have 22 points from the same number of eight games.
As for the visitors, their search for an away win continues after they lost 1-0 to Red Lions in their first Southern Region outing at Balaka Stadium on Saturday.