There was no happy ending for FCB Nyasa Bullets in this year’s Pre-Season International Bonanza after suffering a 1-0 defeat to UD Songo at the Kamuzu Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Having registered back-to-back goalless draws prior to the closing match, Maule finished the tourney without registering a single win.
Switched on from the blow of the opening whistle, Bullets looked the most likely to score first in Sunday’s fixture.
Although Pasuwa made several changes to the side that drew blank against the Mighty Mukuru Wanderers on Saturday, Bullets still managed to pin the 2022 Mocambola champions in their half with some expansive passing football.
Off the ball, the Mozambican side kept their shape and discipline for long spells inside half an hour, but in the 31st minute, they stepped up to launch a counter-attack of which midfielder Nelson Divrasone finished off with a screamer to give them the lead in a tie play was against them.
Spurred by that opener, Songo then became better on the ball and threatened to quickly double their lead.
Up to the end of the opening half, Maule struggled to rediscover the momentum they had started the game with and trailed 1-0 at the interval.
Six minutes into the second half, Mike Mkwate slickly curved open the Songo defence before sliding a fine pass to McFallen Mgwira, whose one-timer was well blocked for a corner kick.
Now looking keener to fight back, Bullets then pushed up high on the pitch but saw their forays collapse with a lack of precision in the final third.
With 13 minutes to go, Maxwell Gasten Phodo and Chawanangwa Gumbo replaced Henry Kabichi and Stanley Billiat, but that change by Pasuwa could not get The People’s Team anything from the tie as it finished 1-0.
What it means
Two consecutive draws compounded by a defeat on Matchday 3 meant Bullets could only finish at the very bottom of the 2023 Pre-Season International Bonanza with 2 points.
UD Songo won two and drew a single game to win the tourney with 7 points.
Wanderers, who won 2-1 against Ferroviário de Nampula in their closing match in the early kick-off, finished second in the standings with four points.
With the same number of points as Bullets, Nampula finished third, a position they earned in the 2022 Mocambola league campaign.
As the new season campaign is a month from now, the champions of Malawi will likely play a few friendlies in search of a better tune ahead of the 2023 TNM Super League season, which is set to start in April.