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Match report: Bullets 2-1 Baka City

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FCB Nyasa Big Bullets recorded the first win at home this season with a 2-1 victory over Baka City in the TNM Super League at Kamuzu Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Playing an unknown team made things very difficult for the defending champions, who had to come from behind to secure all the points.

The visitors broke the deadlock through Geoffrey Mwakyembe early in the opening period before The People’s Team responded through Ephraim Kondowe and Chawanangwa Gumbo.

What happened 

Kalisto Pasuwa made five changes to the side that won convincingly at Chitipa United by handing starts to Richard Chimbamba, Clyde Senaji, Gumbo, Lanjesi Nkhoma and Kondowe for Innocent Nyasulu, Blessings Mpokera, Yankho Singo, Anthony Mfune and Babatunde Adepoju.

The first chance fell to the hosts in the sixth minute after a driving run from Gomezgani Chirwa found the in-form Kondowe, but Omar Hammiss stopped his powerful header, and from the rebound, Nkhoma fired wide.

Against the run of play, the visitors scored their opening goal in the 13th minute. Lloyd Aaron lost possession to Joseph Mwabungu who quickly released Gule Mwaisope Mwaluswa to his left.

The forward found his way into the box before his loose ball caught Senaji napping in the line of duty to allow Mwakyembe to fire past Chimbamba into the net, 0-1.

Bullets almost responded immediately when Colin Mujuru set up Precious Sambani with a freekick, but our captain was denied Hammiss, who was outstanding between the sticks for the Karonga side.

But despite the early setback, the score was level in the 21st minute. Nkhoma was the architect of the goal as his thunderous effort was fumbled by Hammiss, only to see the ball landing straight at Kondowe who had an easy task of putting the ball into the net, 1-1.

At this moment, Bullets were very offensive as they attacked from all angles. Still, Hammiss kept performing wonders with a series of fantastic saves, this time around, denying Chirwa from scoring after he was found unmarked by Patrick Mwaungulu.

The visiting goalkeeper was at it again with another brilliant save to deny Mujuru from scoring. The defender saw the shot-stopper out of his line, but his long-range effort was tipped over the bar.

After more pressure, Bullets found the back of the net brilliantly to take the lead. The hosts exchanged several passes through Aaron, Ernest Petro, Mujuru, Mwaungulu and Nkhoma before releasing Chirwa, who wasted no time to find Gumbo on the edge of the six-yard box and the midfielder slotted home from close range, beating Hammiss in his line of duty, 2-1.

Towards the end of the first period, Bullets piled on more pressure as Kondowe had plenty of time in the offensive zone. He spotted a run from Mwaungulu, however, the 22-year-old could not place his shot on target as he blasted his effort off Hammis’s left-hand side goal post and that was all for the half.

After the recess, Pasuwa brought in Ronald Chitiyo for Petro, looking to regain more grounds in the midfield where the defending champions struggled to deal with Joseph Mwabungu and Mwakyembe in the first half.

Much was expected from the hosts, but they slowed down, failed to create meaningful chances and struggled to make dangerous runs going into the offensive zone.

After a quiet opening few minutes, referee Zebron Lengani made a strange call when he awarded a free-kick to the visitors against Mujuru who was the one fouled by Mwaisope. The set piece almost led to a goal, but Senaji made a timely clearance to keep Bullets in the lead.

Bullets had an opportunity to increase their lead, but Mujuru’s freekick was well saved by Hammiss, who was still in control of his penalty box.

61 minutes played on the clock, Hammiss once again denied Kondowe with a fantastic save when Aaron set through the forward whose volley was well dealt with by The Clever Boys’ ‘keeper for a corner-kick which made no impact as Mwaungulu played it directly to Chimwemwe Kaliyala.

In the 71st minute, Pasuwa brought in Mfune and Yamikani Mologeni for Senaji and Kondowe. This saw Chirwa moving in the central defence to partner Mujuru.

The hosts almost got punished in the 77th minute when Mwaisope launched an attack to his right before hitting the side net when Bullets defence was caught off guard against the run of play.

Pasuwa introduced Precious Phiri and Hassan Kajoke for Aaron and Nkhoma, taking Sambani into the central midfield.

The chances were few against a highly motivated side that defended with everything to frustrate the hosts who were pressing for more goals but lacked the finishing composure in the final third.

There were two more chances for the visitors through corner kicks, but Bullets defended well to record their second win of the season.

Another POTM for Mujuru

Following his excellent performance, the Zimbabwean defender was named Player of the Match, his second in two successive TNM Super League matches after he picked the first one away to Chitipa United last Sunday.

What it means

The win takes Bullets to third position with eight points, two behind log leaders Silver Strikers who had a comfortable 5-1 victory over Mafco FC on the same afternoon at home.

What next

Next on the menu for the quadruple winners is the big Blantyre derby next week.

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