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Mike Mkwate - Midfieder

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Chinedu Okafor – Forward

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Collins Okumu – Defender

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Pre-Season friendly match: Kamuzu Barracks 1-1 Bullets


FCB Nyasa Big Bullets were held to a 1-1 draw against Kamuzu Barracks during an indoor pre-season training match played at Civo Stadium on Saturday morning.

Initially, Bullets were supposed to play two games in the Central Region as they continue fine-tuning for the 2023 season, with their next match scheduled for Sunday against Extreme FC in Mchinji, before returning to Blantyre on Monday.

However, a late communication from the Malawi National Council of Sports on Friday night advised having all formal sporting activities put on hold as part of the 14-day national mourning following a devastating Cyclone Freddy, which hit some parts of the Southern Region and claimed hundreds of lives and displaced more than 79, 000 households.

After this advice from MNCS, a decision was made to have Bullets play KB without spectators and it was played in the morning hours, but Sunday’s match against Extreme will not be played.

Head coach Kalisto Pasuwa used two different teams in both halves, with the likes of Collins Okumu, Clyde Senaji, Mike Mkwate and Chinedu Okafor as some of the notable faces to feature for the Malawi champions in the second half.

The opening minutes of the match belonged to the hosts who dominated possession through Levison Maganizo, Sam Gunda and Martias Nyirenda who controlled the midfield and created their first goal-scoring opportunity in the 7th minute through Foster Bitoni, forcing Richard Chimbamba into making his first save for a corner kick.

The military side kept on knocking at Bullets’ door, and they should have taken a lead in the 14th minute when Nyirenda used his pace to beat Eric Kaonga before sending an excellent low pass inside the six-yard box which was well connected by Gunda only to be denied by Precious Phiri’s timely clearance before crossing the goal line.

With more than fifteen minutes played on the clock, Bullets started to settle down as they mostly used Lanjesi Nkhoma and Stanley Billiat to launch their offensive attacks, but the hosts’ defence, which was being led by Helbert Wayekha and Hope Namadzuda, gave no space to Ephraim Kondowe, who was playing as a lone striker.

Bullets created their only closest chance in the 38th minute when KB’s defence was caught napping in the line of duty and allowed Phiri to create shooting space, unfortunately, his effort was easily dealt with by Lehman Nthala in goal for the home side.

At the other end, the hosts pressed for a goal when Kelvin Hang’anda found himself on the receiving end of Maganizo’s clever long pass, but the forward was late as he allowed Chimbamba to come out of his line before clearing the ball away from his box and goalless it ended in the first half.

After the recess, Pasuwa made ten changes to his team as he only maintained Nickson Nyasulu who was joined by Senaji, MacFarlane Mgwira, Mkwate, Okumu, Okafor, Righteous Banda, Ken Pasuwa, Rabson Chiyenda, Maxwell Gasten Phodo and Yamikani Fodya.

Bullets completely dominated the final half and it wasn’t surprising to see them taking a lead just after three minutes into the final half through Banda, who connected well from Mkwate’s pass into the six-yard box to beat Nthaa near-post, 0-1.

Bullets should have doubled their lead moments later when Banda’s volley from a rebound was tipped over the crossbar by Nthala for a set piece which was easily defended by the hosts.

Another inviting ball from Banda to Gasten in the box went wide when Nthala was already beaten in the line of duty.

At the far end, Kamuzu Barracks launched a stunning counter-attack through Nyirenda, who exchanged passes with Alexander Cosmas before freeing Hang’anda who could only see his weaker shot well blocked by Okumu for a corner kick.

The hosts equalized dramatically in the 60th minute when Cosmas’ weaker shot was fumbled by Chiyenda, only to find Hang’anda unmarked and the forward slotted the ball home, 1-1.

Bullets nearly restored their lead in the 68th minute through Okafor who was brilliantly set through by Mkwate, but his goal was ruled out by the first assistant referee Weston Waile for offside.

Nyirenda saw his powerful shot outside the penalty box missing Chiyenda’s upright with an inch, before another chance from a freekick which Senaji defended.

With less than fifteen minutes left to play, Pasuwa brought in Anthony Mfune for Okafor whilst Vincent Mphepo replaced Namadzunda for the hosts.

Bullets should have had a late winner when Mfune won the ball from Chimwemwe Chisambi and with Nthala out of his defensive line, the forward failed to score as his two attempts were denied by the goalkeeper, who used his experience to salvage something out of the game and in the end, 1-1 it ended.

The team returns to Blantyre on Sunday following the Extreme FC match’s cancellation.

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