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Thursday, 01 August 2019 10:16

Blantyre derby ends in a beautiful draw

Written by  Arkangel Tembo
Babatunde Adepoju trying to win the ball from Nickson Nyasulu during Blantyre derby-Pic Arkangel Tembo Babatunde Adepoju trying to win the ball from Nickson Nyasulu during Blantyre derby-Pic Arkangel Tembo

Blantyre, August 1, 2019: Nyasa Big Bullets and Be Forward Wanderers played to a 0-0 draw at the jam packed Kamuzu Stadium on Saturday afternoon in the TNM Super League.

The mouth-watering Blantyre derby kicked off in front of more than 20 000 fans gathered at the Kamuzu Stadium, and both teams   fielded their strongest line-up, notably Babatunde Adepoju, Alfred Manyozo Jnr and Stanely Sanudi in the Nomads side, while Chiukepo Msowoya, Chimango Kayira and Precious Sambani featured for the Peoples Team.

Bullets, who were a better side in the first half were, in the 8th minute, awarded a free-kick outside the box, after Dennis Chembezi was adjudged to have fouled Chiukepo Msowoya.  Msowoya stepped up and sent his shot narrowly wide.

As both teams were still trying to get their feet on the ground when Bullets’ Nickson Nyasulu   brought down Babatunde Adepoju outside the box, Francis Mulimbika’s free-kick went straight into Rabson Chiyenda’s hands.

The People’s Team pressed forward inside 20 minutes, and wanted Wanderers to commit mistakes, as they were again awarded a free-kick in the 23rd minute, and it was Chimwemwe Idana who forced man of the match William Thole to a brilliant save.

With 10 minutes of the first half remaining, Babatunde threatened Bullets goal, after Francis Mulimbika played him through, but he shot with his weaker foot from an awkward angle.

Bullets nearly caught Wanderers with a counter attack in the 38th minute, when Mike Nkwate   unleashed a rocket from a distance, and it missed the top corner of Thole’s   goals by a whisker.

On the other end, Vincent Nyangulu then saw the space on the right, entered the box, and looked to play a cross to Babatunde, but Chiyenda dived to his left to block the cross with only five minutes to play.

Bullets looked dangerous towards half time, and nearly took the lead when Chiukepo Msowoya’s low shot was deflected for a throw.
The People’s Team nearly stole the show with a few seconds before the break, but Kajoke’s header was well tamed by the towering goalkeeper, William Thole.   
Both Bullets and Wanderers didn’t make any changes going into the second half.

Come second half, there were changes from both sides with Bullets introducing fresh legs from Patrick Phiri and Nelson Kangunje for Peter Banda and Hassani Kajoke. Mike Mkwate was also taken off.

Wanderers also introduced Felix Zulu and Zicco Mkanda for Isaac Kaliati and Vincent Nyangulu.

Babatunde and Mkonda should have done better in the second half for the Nomads, when they caught Bullets defense flat inside the box, but they both couldn’t connect with the ball that ended up in Chiyenda’s hands.

Wanderers came back to life in the second half, when Francisco Madinga dribbled past two Bullets defenders, but his shot was too weak to pass through Chiyenda.

The introduction of Zulu which forced Madinga to operate on a free role for the Nomads brought immediate changes to their attacking play, and combined well with Babatunde.

First, it was Zicco Mkanda who shot on target, but Chiyenda was equal to the task, and parried to safety.  Mkanda then blasted over the bar from a Sanudi’s pass.

Bullets looked under pressure in the last 45 minutes, and the tall striker Babatunde threatened Chiyenda’s goals in the 75th minute, but Bullets defense came to the party to clear the ball away with the People’s Team’s fans on the feet.

Alfred Manyozo Jnr fouled Mkwate left hand side of the box, Msowoya would then have forced a brilliant save out of Thole, who nearly fumbled, but Bullets didn’t have enough bodies in the box.

Kajoke was then brought down closer to the box in the 80th minute, but the referee denied him for simulation to the frustration of the Bullets bench.

With only three minutes to play, Msowoya beat Wanderers defense and shot at Thole, but the Nomads keeper produced a brilliant save to keep the visitors in the game.
In the end, both Wanderers and Bullets couldn’t score as the match ended 0-0, and the Nomads moved to the summit of table with 27 points from 12 games, while Bullets moved fourth with 23 points from 13 games.