By Mphatso Malidadi:
Nyasa Big Bullets won the first bragging rights of the Blantyre derby this year after defeating arch-rivals Be Forward Wanderers to retain the Ecobank Charity Shield for the third successive time.
In a match played at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre Sunday, Bullets top striker Chiukepo Msowoya was the hero of the day with a stunning second half finish.
It was a game of open chances as goalkeepers Richard Chipuwa of Wanderers and Bullets’ Rabson Chiyenda were tested on several occasions.
Both teams were brilliant in attack but lacked the cutting-edge as play swung from end to end.
Bullets came with different ideas in the second half as they bombarded Wanderers at will but Chipuwa stood firm to deny Msowoya on two occasions.
The Nomads tried to counter the People’s Team by substituting Francis Mkonda and Chikondi Kamanga for Felix Zulu and Francisco Madinga, respectively.
Bullets went ahead in the 66th minute through Msowoya who hammered an unstoppable shot past Chipuwa following a move that involved Mike Mkwate, Patrick Phiri and Gomezgani Chirwa.
Wanderers responded by making more substitutions but Bullets were uncompromising as they stood firm until the last whistle.
In an earlier match, Masters Security finished third after defeating Blue Eagles 5-3 on post-match penalties after it ended 1-1 in regulating time where Eagles skipper Micium Mhone cancelled out Mussa Manyenje’s early goal.
Ecobank bankrolled this year’s Shield to the tune of K12 million.
Bullets Coach, Kallisto Pasuwa, said he was excited with the victory.
“It was a good game because we achieved what we were looking for. It feels great to start the new season with something in our hands. My players followed instructions and I am happy,” Pasuwa said.
His Wanderers counterpart, Bob Mpinganjira, said they gave too much room to their opponents.
“Nevertheless, it is a wakeup call for us ahead of the kick off of the 2019 season. We have to rectify our problems before it is too late,” Mpinganjira said.
Bullets-Chiyenda, Zonda, Petro, Lanjesi, Chirwa, Idana, Kayira, Mgwira, Mkwate, Phiri, Msowoya.
Wanderers-Chipuwa, Sanudi, Cholopi, Malata, Chembezi, Kaziputa, Mkonda, Manyozo Jnr, Kamanga, Babatunde, Kasonga.
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