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Match report: Bullets 3 Blue Eagles 0

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FCB Nyasa Big Bullets claimed a convincing 3-0 win over Blue Eagles in the TNM Super League at Kamuzu Stadium on Sunday to move ahead of Silver Strikers at the top of the standings.

Yamikani Fodya, Hassan Kajoke and substitute Ephraim Kondowe were on target in a match The People’s Team needed a win to bounce back from two successive goalless draws away to Kamuzu Barracks and Mighty Mukuru Wanderers.

With injuries hitting The People’s Team and with other four players absent due to national team engagements, Kalisto Pasuwa made several changes to his team, with Fodya partnering with Blessings Mpokera in central defence whilst Henry Kabichi was handed his first league start this season to take charge of the midfield in the absence of injured Ernest Petro.

What happened

From the onset, Eagles dominated possession by keeping the ball away from the hosts who normally enjoy playing in their backyard regardless of the opposition at hand.

But, against the run of play, Bullets took a surprise lead in the 4th minute in a brilliant fashion.

Franco Ndawa Jnr handled the ball outside the penalty box, resulting in a freekick and Fodya stepped up to fire past John Soko, 1-0.

The early lead could have been cut short moments later when Micium Mhone delivered a very dangerous cross inside the area before Clever Mkungula put it away for a corner kick, which Pasuwa’s men easily defended.

The Area 30 side kept on pressurizing Bullets from all angles and should have had a goal in the 14th minute when Richard Rapson produced an excellent run on the left before sending the ball into the six-yard area, fortunately, Mkungula was equal to the task with a brilliant save.

Bullets kept on struggling to keep possession, and when caught off guard, they also struggled to win the ball back from the opponents as the midfield was completely outnumbered by Schumaker Kuwali and Mhone.

Mkungula was called into action again in the 27th minute when he saved Kuwali’s powerful effort for a corner kick, which paid no difference as referee Mayamiko Kanjere blew his whistle for an infringement on the shot-stopper

At the other end, the hosts had a chance to double the lead when they caught Eagles on a counterattack, but Chawanangwa Gumbo was very unfortunate to miss the target with just an inch from his powerful strike outside the penalty box.

Three minutes after the half-hour mark, Kajoke thought he had scored, but his goal was ruled out for offside.

Gomezgani Chirwa almost doubled our advantage when he found himself on the receiving end of Gumbo’s cross but his attempt was well saved by Soko for a corner kick which was also well defended by the visitors.

In the additional minutes of the opening period, Kabichi came to Bullets’ rescue when he intercepted a very dangerous cross that nearly found Kuwali, who was ready to pull the trigger, and that was all for the half.

Pasuwa made a half-time change when he brought on MacFallen Mgwira, Precious Phiri and Kesten Simbi for Righteous Banda, Kabichi and Kenneth Pasuwa to try to minimize Eagles’ pace which originated from the midfield.

It was a tactical change because Mpokera, who was very outstanding in the opening half, moved into the defensive midfield position to fix the middle of the park that mostly belonged to the visitors as Simbi took his place to partner Fodya in the middle of the defence.

Three minutes into the final half, Mhone missed a seater when his powerful header from the six-yard box went wide. The winger was found unmarked by an excellent cross from Maxwell Gustavo.

In the 51st minute, Christopher Gototo came in for Arthur Moffat to try to improve the visitors’ attacking prowess after they missed several chances, that if converted, Eagles would have been in total control of the match.

Mpokera’s switch into the midfield was all what Bullets needed as they started to slowly take the game to their opposition.

Kajoke had an opportunity to bury the game into Bullets’ favour, but his strike, in a one-on-one situation with the goalkeeper, was denied by the shot-stopper to keep his team in the game.

Anthony Mfune also missed a chance when his weaker header from Precious Sambani’s cross went straight into the palms of Soko.

Eagles’ resilience ended in the 62nd minute when Kajoke got the better of Ndawa Jnr before slotting the ball past the defenceless Soko.

The move was started by Chirwa, whose long ball was calmly controlled by Mfune before a through-ball to Kajoke, who made no mistake by putting the ball inside the net, 2-0.

Soko was called into action in the 68th minute when he stopped Kajoke’s dangerous pass, which was bound to find Mfune at the far end of the six-yard box.

In the 74th minute, Lanken Mwale and Trouble Banda replaced Tonic Viyuyi and Ndawa Jnr whilst Ephraim Kondowe came in for Mfune in the 77th minute.

It was Kondowe who completely dashed Eagles’ hopes of a late comeback when he scored his first league goal in Bullets colours with his first touch after he was found in the offensive zone by Mpokera, 3-0.

With seven minutes left to play, Kajoke was replaced by Chinedu Okafor, who nearly got on the scoresheet when he fired at goal only to see his shot well blocked by our former defender Sankhani Mkandawire.

Chikondi Mvula and Laurent Banda came in for Rapson and Mhone but it was too late as Bullets comfortably walked away with all the points to move top of the standings with 25 points, level with the Central Bankers but Pasuwa’s charges have a superior goal difference and have played a game more than their closest contenders who were exempted from playing games after they contributed four players to the national team.

Fodya voted Man of the Match as a centre-half

The Bullets’ long-serving member, who naturally plays as a left-back was on Sunday afternoon used a centre-half as he partnered with Mpokera in central defence, with Chirwa on the right and Sambani on the left.

Fodya opened the scoring for Bullets in the 4th minute and was solid in central defence to earn him the Man of the Match award. Photo by Kimpho Loka/Bullets Media.

Fodya opened Bullets’ scoring on the afternoon with a stunning freekick outside the 18-yard area to give Pasuwa’s men an early lead in the 4th minute and that was the beginning of his impressive show against the Area 30 cops to deserve the Farmers Organisation Limited Man of the Match award.

Next

Bullets, who opted to continue playing in the TNM Super League despite contributing four players to the Malawi National Team which is currently in South Africa for the COSAFA Senior Challenge, will welcome Dedza Dynamos in another home fixture at Kamuzu Stadium on Saturday.

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