Local football experts have cited complacency and wrong game approach as factors that contributed to Nyasa Big Bullets’ exit in the Caf Champions League.
Bullets went down to DStv Premiership side AmaZulu 3-1 at Bingu National Stadium on Saturday to bow out of the race in the preliminary round.
The result came as a shock to Bullets faithful, who were confident that their team would progress after winning 1-0 at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban, South Africa on September 17.
Ex-Flames midfielder Chancy ‘Vinny’ Gondwe said his former side paid the price for being complacent.
“I would have loved if the team had progressed to another round. If our [Bullets] approach was okay, then we could not have lost. Our counterparts did their homework. We were supposed to be solid at the back while playing an attacking game. Maybe the players were over-confident,” said Gondwe, who had stint with different teams in South Africa including Mamelodi Sundowns.
Another former Bullets midfielder Kuruwa Ngwira said the People’s Team gave a lot of room to AmaZulu allowing them to dictate the flow of the game.
“To begin with, Bullets were supposed to score an early goal and also avoid conceding in the first 15 minutes. If the team was not complacent then they would have displayed that character,” he said.
Sports analyst George Kaudza-Masina said, tactically, Amazulu FC were miles ahead of Bullets.
“[Kalitso] Pasuwa [Bullets Coach] and his players failed to understand how to deal with a return match playing at home. In such a competition, the visiting team always has an advantage with the away goal rule, thus home-ground most of the time does not play any advantage.
“The fielding of players by Pasuwa was out of touch and Ben McCarthy capitalised on lapsed defence in the early minutes of the game, rendering the People’s team helpless,” he said.
Kaudza-Masina said, despite going into the field with a goal advantage, Bullets were exposed in all fronts as AmaZulu deployed all their arsenals upfront.
“The result displayed a true reflection of what Bullets is this season. Despite currently leading the Super League, Bullets have not been playing their usual game and they have been winning most games just by chance.
The former Football Association of Malawi acting general secretary said Bullets’ exit was an indication of local football standards.
“The performance of Bullets has just shown that our league is below standard as compared to neighbouring countries. And with such type of a league, where Bullets has been dominating for years, their dismal performance has just proved that we are far behind in all fronts and Caf competitions are not for Malawi clubs at the moment,” he said.