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Report: Bullets 2-1 Wanderers

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FCB Nyasa Big Bullets claimed the NBS Bank Charity Shield on Sunday with a 2-1 victory over Mighty Mukuru Wanderers at the Bingu National Stadium.

It is the sixth Charity Shied, making The Peoples Team the only team to win the Shield since its introduction in 2016.

Bullets, beaten at the same venue in the Airtel Top 8 Cup through penalties in December, responded by taking the game to their neighbours and ultimately got their reward.

Kalisto Pasuwa had Gomezgani Chirwa and Precious Sambani out of the match due to injuries, but his youngsters proved beyond reasonable doubt that, when called in, they can deliver for champions.

Newly-signed Kenyan defender Clyde Senaji partnered with Nickson Nyasulu in central defence whilst Blessings Mpokera and Alick Lungu were deployed in the right and left wings respectively.

Pasuwa trusted Patrick Mwaungulu, Frank Willard, Ernest Petro, Mike Mkwate and Lanjesi Nkhoma in the midfield whilst Maxwell Gasten Phodo was deployed as the number 9.

The opening minutes belonged to The Nomads, who were passing the ball at will to unsettle the hosts, but Bullets defended with maturity, especially in the wings where Gaddie Chirwa and Wisdom Mpinganjira were operating from.

Bullets soon regained control of the midfield as Mkwate tormented Alfred Manyozo’s led midfield and created spaces for Nkhoma and Mwaungulu to advance into the offensive zones to add numbers in attack.

The pressure from Bullets paid off in the 9th minute when Mwaungulu’s short corner kick to Mkwate was delivered into the box and met the rising Nyasulu whose attempt from close range was fumbled by William Thole before the ball landed straight at Phodo and the forward had an easy task of tapping it into the net, 1-0.

The goal was a motivation to Bullets as they kept on pressing, passing at will and causing havoc to the Lali Lubani side who struggled to close Nkhoma, Mwaungulu and Mkwate down with their high-pressing football.

Phodo should have had his second goal just after 23 minutes when he was found unmarked in the six-yard box, but his goal-bound shot was blocked by Lawrence Chaziya for a corner kick, which The Nomads easily defended.

Mwaungulu’s turn to test Thole meters away from the penalty area came in the 32nd minute when he received a pass from Nkhoma, but his effort went over the crossbar.

The pressure kept mounting on Wanderers, and Mark Harrison had to substitute Emmanuel Nyirenda, who was playing his first derby, for Misheck Botomani to switch from a 4-4-2 formation to 3-5-2.

But Bullets kept on pushing and they should have had a goal in the 43rd minute through Phodo after a counter-attack from the left flank, but the forward was slow and allowed the Nomads to regroup and cover Thole.

With 45 minutes played, Bullets suffered a massive blow when Nkhoma sustained an injury and was replaced by Anthony Mfune.

The People’s Team went to the dressing room with a slender lead.

After the recess, Harrison quickly pulled out Manyozo Jnr for Peter Cholopi to try to control the midfield that belonged to The People’s Team.

The change slightly improved Wanderers’ stability, with Cholopi now freeing Mphatso Kamanga and Felix Zulu in attack, but unlocking Nyasulu’s led defence proved to be a very difficult task for Harrison’s side.

The Nomads had their first shot at goal in the 50th minute when Kamanga’s powerful volley was well saved by Chimbamba.

Wanderers introduced Vincent Nyangulu and Vitumbiko Kumwenda for Christopher Kumwembe and Kamanga while Stanley Billiat came on for Mwaungulu as Pasuwa made his second change.

Two quick back-to-back freekicks to The Nomads nearly produced something for them but Chimbamba was equal to the task with brilliant saves.

Billiat doubled Bullets’ lead in the 71st minute in dramatic fashion.

Chaziya had lost the ball to Mfune on the line, and the forward sent a brilliant pass into the six-yard area to find Billiat and the winger pounced without mercy, 2-0.

The goal triggered massive protests from Wanderers who thought there was a foul in the build-up to the goal, but Alfred Chilinda stood firm and maintained his decision.

The Nomads were still in it and in the 77th minute, they won a freekick on the right flank and Stanley Sanudi stepped up to deliver a dangerous cross into the box which caught Bullets’ defence napping in the line of duty, allowing Botomani to simply put the ball into the net, 2-1.

It was a nervous last ten minutes for Bullets as they endured a very offensive Wanderers, who were in desperate need of an equaliser to take the match into penalties.

Pasuwa brought in Yamikani Fodya, Righteous Banda and Chawanangwa Gumbo for the injured Lungu, Phodo and Mkwate.

With three minutes left to play, Chimbamba denied Nyangulu from close range when he connected well from Mpinganjira’s cross and with two minutes added to the clock, it was just a matter of time for Pasuwa’s charges to win a record sixth Charity Shield.

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