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Bullets wrap up Central Region pre-season camp with 4-1 win over Chatoloma

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FCB Nyasa Big Bullets registered a convincing 4-1 win over Chatoloma Admarc at Champions Stadium in Mponela on Sunday afternoon.

The match, coming 24 hours after beating Kalembelembe Stars 6-0 at the same venue on Saturday, marked the end of our week-long pre-season training camp in the Central Region.

What happened

Kalisto Pasuwa provided an opportunity for the former players to appear in the Bullets jersey for the last time as he rested several players from his current squad after they featured against Kalembelembe.

Spectators were surprised to see ex-Bullets stars Fischer Kondowe, John Lanjesi, Chimango Kayira, Henry Kabichi, Yamikani Fodya and McFallen Mgwira in the starting XI alongside Kesten Simbi, Sharifu Swadiki, Mathews Masamba, Babatunde Adepoju and Blessings Mpokera.

The Malawi champions conceded in the seventh minute following a mistake from Swadiki as the 17-year-old goalkeeper gave away possession to Andrew Joseph who guided the ball into an empty net, 1-0.

But the lead was cut short a minute later when Masamba, who was also on target on Saturday, produced a rocket to beat the defenceless home goalkeeper into the top corner to make it 1-1.

It was a one-sided affair, with Bullets dominating the play through Kabichi and Kayira who controlled the midfield. However, the 2023 quadruple winner failed to break the defensive wall of the hosts, who defended with everything to keep the scoreline at 1-1.

Babatunde should have given Bullets a lead when Kayira and Kabichi exchanged passes to make their way into the box before finding the unmarked forward, who was unfortunate to blast his effort over the crossbar with the ‘keeper already beaten in the line of duty.

Despite dominating the opening half, Bullets failed to take a lead as the two teams went to the recess locked at 1-1.

Early in the second half, the hosts created the first clear goal-scoring opportunity through James, who fired over the crossbar from close range after Bullets’ defence was caught napping in the line of duty.

That miss could have proved costly as Mgwira failed to tap in from Mpokera’s excellent delivery into the area.

Pasuwa’s men took a lead in the 52nd minute through Kayira, who, just like in the old days, produced a thunderous strike that was just too much for the opposite goalkeeper to handle, 1-2.

Precious Sambani, Innocent Nyasulu, Ephraim Kondowe, Anthony Mfune, Lloyd Aaron, Kenneth Pasuwa, and Gomezgani Chirwa were introduced for Kayira, Babatunde, Kondowe, Sadik, Masamba, Fodya and Kabichi.

The fresh legs increased Bullets’ intensity as they pounced on the hosts who were second on the ball and kept on losing possession willy nilly to the dismay of the home fans, who had all the hopes of upsetting the champions.

Mfune added our third goal, heading in from Pasuwa’s well-taken corner kick to completely dash Chatoloma’s hopes of making a comeback.

Chirwa then rounded off the goalkeeper before slotting the ball home for our fourth goal.

There were a few more chances but Nkhoma and Kondowe failed to convert and that was it at the end of the final whistle, 1-4.

Pasuwa’s post-match reaction

“The shape of the team is now coming up as you know we have been training with 24 players because others are injured, but we still have more work to do before kicking off the new season,” he told journalists.

“We still have a few weeks before facing Silver Strikers in the [NBS Bank] Charity Shield and by the time we play the match, we will surely be ready.”

Having swept all the domestic trophies The People’s Team played for last campaign, Pasuwa expects a very competitive season, saying the only way to keep the distance is to be a step ahead in everything Bullets are doing.

“They will come very hard on us and we should anticipate another tough season. The best way to keep on dominating is to be a step ahead of everything in terms of preparation, management, mental strength and being positive about everything so that we stay miles away from them”.

Bullets return to Blantyre on Monday and Pasuwa will continue preparing his team for the new season without nine players who will now join the Malawi squad currently in camp preparing for the upcoming four-nation tournament slated to start next Saturday in Lilongwe.

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