By Isaac Salima:
TNM Super League leaders Nyasa Big Bullets survived Civil Service United’s scare as they drew 1-1 in an exciting match at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre Sunday.
Bullets were on course to bag maximum points after Antony Mfune scored in the 21st minute but Civil produced a solid display in the second half as veteran Innocent Tanganyika earned his side a point in the 77th minute of the match.
Despite the draw, Bullets remain top of the log table with 56 points from 22 games. However Kamuzu Barracks have reduced The People’s Team gap to nine points after the soldiers defeated Sable Farming 2-0 at Mpira Stadium.
Bullets missed the chance to extend the gap when they wasted a lot of scoring opportunities in both halves.
Nigerian striker Babatunde Adepoju, who is the leading goal scorer with 12 goals in the league, was the main culprit as Bullets wasted several opportunities. Babatunde was replaced by Hassan Kajoke in the second half of the match.
It was a match of two halves as Bullets dominated the better part of the first half whereas Civil had a lion’s share of possession in the second half. Mfune continued his impressive run when he beat an offside trap to put his team in front.
The goal invited protests from the visitors, who claimed it was scored from an offside position. After the break, Civil came with a renewed purpose and won the battle in the midfield where Chimwemwe Idana and man of the match Frank Willard had control in the first half.
The determined Civil camped in Bullets’ half and got the reward in the 77th minute when Tanganyika broke the hearts of the The People’s Team family with the equaliser after firing past Richard Chimbamba in goals.
Bullets had their defence and goalkeeping to blame for failing to clear the ball. Ghanaian Isaac Badu was handed a rare start for Bullets but his combination with Nixon Nyasulu, who was introduced deep in the first half for injured Kesten Simbi, was less effective and gave the visitors too much room.
After the match, Bullets Assistant Coach Peter Mponda admitted that his side was second best on the day.
“We did not play well and we allowed them to control the affairs. But we cannot point fingers at anyone but we just need to go back home and work on the shortfalls,” Mponda said.
Civil Coach Franko Ndawa praised his charges for a spirited performance.
“Our intention was to score a quick goal but instead we conceded early. However, we thank our players for not giving up until they scored the equaliser,” Ndawa said.
Elsewhere, Zeliat Nkhoma and Matias Nyirenda scored a goal each when KB moved to second on the log table after beating Sable Farming 2-0. Ekwendeni Hammers moved to position 10 on the log table after thrashing Karonga United 4-0 at Mzuzu Stadium.
Gift Chunga scored a brace whereas Blessings Singini and Wongani Lungu scored a goal each for the Hammers. Hammers have 28 points from 26 matches.
At Dedza Stadium, Edward Dakalira was hero of the day when he scored the lone goal as Dedza Dynamos Salima Sugar beat Mighty Wakawaka Tigers 1-0. Dedza are on position eight on the log table with 35 points from 23 matches.