Malawi’s Super League defending champions Nyasa Big Bullets started their league title defence campaign on a low note as they were held by Mzuzu-based Moyale Barracks 0-0 at the
Kamuzu Stadium on Saturday.
Bullets gave their supporters false hope after starting the game on a very high note and created several scoring opportunities in the first ten minutes.
Former Blantyre United and Mighty Be Forward Wanderers hit-man Muhammed Sulumba nearly gave the Bullets the lead but his header went over the bar in the first five minutes.
Few minutes later he missed another golden opportunity when he headed straight into the palms of Moyale goalkeeper Juma Chikwenga after he was left unmarked in the penalty box.
Moyale looked disorganized as they failed to settle down and keep the ball particularly in the midfield. Bullets enjoyed possession and dominated all the proceedings the entire first half thanks to wonderful work on the midfield from Bashir Maunde, Henry Kabichi and Dalitso Sailesi.
Bullets who were playing with three defenders namely John Lanjesi, Miracle Gabeya and Yamikani Fodya rested George Nyirenda and brought in Chikondi Likwemba to add the attacking machinery but never worked out.
Midway into the first half, Bullets were denied a penalty by referee of the day Dennis Ngulube after Sulumba was brought down in the box.
Minutes later, Ngulube again angered Bullets players and fans when he denied the Peoples team a goal that has caused a heated debate scored by Sulumba but Ngulube judged there was a push before Sulumba sloted the ball home.
Moyale regained their form in the last minute of the match but no goal came from either side.
In the second half, Moyale continued from where they had left in the first half and continued to give the home side intense pressure. Both teams made a couple of substitutions in search of a lead but they all kept on chasing their shadows.
Still more Moyale had a lion share interms of possession just the same as Bullets did in the first half. In the 63rd minute, Bullets were awarded a penalty after defender Mtopijo Njewa brought down Sulumba in the box.
Sulumba who was the customer of the day failed to convert the spot kick which was served by Chikwenga before he took a rebound only for Chikwengwa to serve again. Chikwenga was in a class of his own throughout the game and was unarguably voted man of the match after the match.
Speaking to reporters after the match, Bullets new head coach Franco Ndawa said he was satisfied with the draw since it was the first game of the season. He applauded his players for playing according to instrunctions.
He has however promised to fight hard inorder to defend the title. Moyale Barracks Assistant coach Charles Kamanga was on cloud nine.
“I am very satisfied with the result and I am happy with the performance of my boys. We struggled in the opening minutes of the first half and during break, we told the boys to start
the second half the way we finished in the last ten minutes and they did exactly what they were told and Bullets had no chance” said Kamanga.
He said Bullets missed the plot by failing to score in the first minutes of the first half. Bullets missed the services of the captain and marksman Chiukepo Msowoya who is injured. Chiukepo got injured during Friday’s training according to team manager Rahim Ishmael.
Elsewhere, Civo came from behind to draw 2-2 against Kamuzu Barracks while Mafco were the first team to register a win this season after stunning Mzuni 1-0.
Action continues on Sunday with a mouth watering fixture involving former league champions Silver Strikers and Carlsberg Cup holders Mighty Be Forward Wanderers.