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Match report: Kamuzu Barracks 0 Bullets 0

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FCB Nyasa Big Bullets were held to a goalless draw away to Kamuzu Barracks on Saturday afternoon at Civo Stadium to move back to the top of the TNM Super League table.

Kalisto Pasuwa made four changes to the side that won 4-0 on Wednesday in the FDH Bank Cup by including John Lanjesi, Alick Lungu, Blessings Mpokera and Lanjesi Nkhoma in his starting eleven.

As predicted, it was a tough match for the defending champions against a side that was determined to cause an upset.

The People’s Team had a better first half as we created chances, only to be disappointed by our finishing.

Three quick back-to-back corner kicks, followed by Nkhoma’s miss from a free header inside the six-yard box highlighted a very frustrating afternoon for Pasuwa’s charges.

Bullets had a golden opportunity in the 23rd minute when Patrick Mwaungulu delivered an excellent cross into the box and found Nkhoma unmarked, but the forward headed wide with Lemani Nthala already beaten in the line of duty.

At the stroke of the half-hour mark, Gomezgani Chirwa made a brilliant run to the right flank before sending a cross which hit the hand of Mathews Zaulombo but referee Godfrey Nkhakananga waved play on to trigger a massive protest from the visiting supporters.

Bullets wasted another chance in the 32nd minute when Mwaungulu advanced into the attacking zone before finding Maxwell Phodo on the edge of the penalty box but the forward produced a weaker shot that was easily saved by Nthala.

The last minutes of the opening half produced no magic as the two teams played more action in the middle of the park and minimized chances at both ends to finish the half in a stalemate.

The second half got off to a slow start as KB introduced Gift M’bwana for Zaulombo.

Nkhoma was causing havoc on the hosts’ defence, but all his dangerous passes were easily cleared by Mike Ntonyo, who was the busiest of them all.

In this final half, The People’s Team had to wait until the 65th minute for the first clear scoring chance, with a ball falling kindly to Phodo from Nkhoma’s excellent pass, but he blazed a shot high and wide on the turn.

The hosts were yet to test Clever Mkungula, who was only troubled once in the entire 90 minutes as Alick Chirwa’s charges were restricted from creating shooting spaces inside and outside the penalty box.

In the 68th minute, Nkhoma and Lungu exchanged passes before the former sent a very dangerous pass into the six-yard area, targeting Mwaungulu, but Nthala was very alert with a timely save.

Bullets kept on pushing for a goal and the pressure ebbed and flowed, but the visitors were always in control of the game and missed out on opportunities to break the deadlock, most notably in the 73rd minute when Nkhoma dropped a cross and Phodo was unable to convert.

Hassan Kajoke was then introduced for Phodo to try to improve the attacking prowess and possibly break the deadlock, but it was never happening.

Chances were very few and Bullets nearly conceded in the 85th minute when Mkungula failed to deal with Olson Kanjira’s corner kick which landed at Kelvin Hang’anda but the striker volleyed over the crossbar for a goal kick.

Anthony Mfune was introduced in the 90th minute, but it was too late to make an immediate impact as the two teams shared one point apiece.

This was Bullets’ third draw in Lilongwe this season, having played to 1-all draws to Silver Strikers and Civil Service United.

It also means Pasuwa’s charges have only collected nine points from the fifteen possible in five away games.

The result means Bullets have temporarily dislodged Silver Strikers at the top of the table with 21 points each, but the defending champions have a superior goal difference.

The Central Bankers will play Karonga United on Sunday afternoon at Bingu National Stadium.

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