FCB Nyasa Big Bullets have moved top of the TNM Super League following a 3-1 victory over Moyale Barracks at Kamuzu Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Lanjesi Nkhoma, Hassan Kajoke and Anthony Mfune were on target as The People’s Team continued with the home unbeaten run.
Kalisto Pasuwa made three changes to the side that defeated Extreme FC last week in Lilongwe, with Kajoke, Righteous Banda and Clyde Senaji all starting in place of Maxwell Phodo, Mike Mkwate and Nickson Nyasulu.
Nkhoma continued his excellent start to the season with the opener for Bullets in the 5th minute, pouncing home near post after a brilliant pass from Patrick Mwaungulu, 1-0.
The lead should have doubled in the 11th minute when Banda found Kajoke unmarked inside the penalty area, unfortunately, the forward’s attempt went over the crossbar when MacDonald Harawa was already beaten in the line of duty.
17 minutes on the clock, Nkhoma then turned the provider as he found Kajoke to put Bullets into the driving seat. The goal originated from a well-calculated move orchestrated by Mwaungulu deep inside our half before releasing the no.19 who laid it off to our no.9 to score his second goal in two matches.
It was Mwaungulu’s turn to increase the hosts’ lead when he was a recipient of Harawa’s poor clearance but the winger’s strike went off target.
With the scoreline at 2-0, Bullets slowed down their aggressiveness and allowed the visitors to take the game to their half and they should have pulled one back just after the half-hour mark when Henry Misanjo’s powerful goal-bound freekick on the edge of the penalty box was blocked by Senaji who was having a good game.
The Kenyan centre-half was called into action again in the 35th minute when he made a timely intervention to stop Gastin Simkonda’s freekick, which should have caused havoc inside our area.
The last ten minutes of the opening period belonged to Nicolas Mhango’s men but they couldn’t make any breakthrough as Senaji, Alick Lungu, Blessings Mpokera and Collins Okumu stood firm to protect Richard Chimbamba from conceding.
The Lions of Kaning’ina were forced to make a substitution in the last minute of the half when Prince Phiri replaced injured Misanjo and George Nyirenda came in for Lovemore Jere, who was struggling to stop the lively Nkhoma and that was all for the half, 2-0.
Pasuwa made a half-time substitution when he brought on Gomezgani Chirwa, who missed Bullets’ first three games due to an injury.
The wingback replaced Banda and Pasuwa described the change as ‘tactical’, saying he wanted to restrain Moyale from using long balls to advance into Bullets’ half.
The change indeed worked for The People’s Team as Maule overloaded the midfield and restricted Mhango’s men from pressing using their wide men.
Bullets should have made it three in the 53rd minute when Mwaungulu got the better of Timothy Nyirenda before finding Kajoke to the left, but the striker opted to lay the ball into Nkhoma’s path, allowing Maneno Nyoni to arrive on time and put the ball out of danger.
Nkhoma almost doubled his tally when his powerful drive inside the 18-yard area hit Harawa’s left-hand side post.
Kajoke was replaced by Anthony Mfune after sustaining an injury whilst Brown Magaga came in for Nyirenda for the visitors.
Mfune made an immediate impact when he scored our third goal in the 65th minute, finishing off an excellent pass from Nkhoma.
The visitors were able to reduce the arrears in the 68th minute through Raphael Phiri, who headed home from Magaga’s brilliant delivery into the area from a freekick, 3-1.
Pasuwa brought in Chawanangwa Gumbo and Stanley Billiat for Frank Willard and Mwaungulu to try to regain control of the midfield, which was now in the hands of the visitors.
At the other end of Harawa’s goal area, Mfune saw his long-range effort missing the upright with an inch after exchanging passes with Nkhoma.
Bullets suffered another injury blow when Chimbamba was stretchered off after he was elbowed by Phiri following aerial combat. He was replaced by Rabson Chiyenda.
There were three more chances in the final minutes of the half but Harawa denied Mfune and Nkhoma from adding more goals to their names with excellent saves and in the end, Bullets collected three points, a third win in succession to go top of the summit with 10 points, one above Mighty Mukuru Wanderers who are playing Mighty Tigers on Sunday afternoon.
Nkhoma voted Man of the Match
The 25-year-old forward, who netted our opener before providing two assists, was voted Man of the Match. Nkhoma has now scored four goals in four league matches. He remains second on the leading scorers’ list with a goal behind Wanderers’ Christopher Kumwembe.
Bullets will travel to Chiwembe for the fifth league fixture to face Bangwe All Stars at Mpira Stadium next weekend.