Referee spoils civil, bullets tussle
Holders reclaim top spot
Champions FCB Nyasa Bullets survived a Civil Service United scare when they came from behind to force a 1-1 stalemate in a TNM Super League match at Civo Stadium Sunday.
But the match was never short of controversy as the officiating panel led by Alfred Chilinda left the huge crowd with more questions than answers following inconsistency in decisions.
The officiating panel made a cocktail of mistakes to the annoyance of the teams and fans.
Firstly, it was Civil who were victims of poor officiating, when they were denied what looked like Binwell Katinji’s second goal of the match.
Bullets goalkeeper Richard Chimbamba collided with his captain John Lanjesi and missed the ball.
Katinji pounced on the ball into an empty net but the referee disallowed the goal.
That was not all, Bullets had a penalty appeal turned down under confusing circumstances.
It was chaotic and a bad day at the office for the officiating panel.
Once again, the huge crowd trooped out of Civo Stadium with more questions.
Minus poor officiating it was a game of two halves as Civil dominated the first half whereas Bullets were in control of the second half.
Civil came with a purpose to stop Bullets and they bossed possession, creating chances.
The hosts were first on the ball, no wonder took the lead through Katinji who beautifully slotted the ball into the net after a defence splitting pass from Patrick Phiri in the 15th minute.
Sensing danger, Bullets Coach Kalisto Pasuwa made double substitution, bringing in Mike Mkwate and Ephraim Kondowe for Righteous Banda and Lanjesi Nkhoma.
But Civil continued to dominate the match as they bossed the midfield with Lloyd Aaron, Frank Chizuze and Moses Banda on top of their game.
Patrick Mwaungulu levelled the scores for Bullets after the break.
Following the draw, Bullets have reclaimed top spot above Wanderers on goal-difference as they have 14 points each from six matches.
In a post-match reaction, Civil Team Manager Gabriel Chirwa rued missed chances.
“We played well and we had chances to finish the game in the first half. Anyway it is part of the game,” Chirwa said.
Pasuwa admitted that Civil gave them a tough time.
“There were some incidents where we should have been awarded a penalty but I do not want to talk about the referee because I am a coach,” Pasuwa said.
Elsewhere, Silver Strikers and Dedza Dynamos Salima Sugar also shared the spoils after a goal-less draw at Dedza Stadium.
The Central Bankers finished the game with 10 men after Emmanuel Kaunga was shown a red card for two yellow cards.
Silver are third with 11 points from five matches.
At Mpira Stadium, Mighty Wakawaka Tigers and Mafco equalled power after a 1-1 stalemate. Gift Soko scored for Mafco but Trouble Kajani rescued a point for Tigers.
Moyale Barracks beat Red Lions 1-0 at Balaka Stadium thanks to Walusungu Mdoka’s goal.