By Mabvuto Kambuwe:
Nyasa Big Bullets and Silver Strikers lost by 1-0 margins to Gor Mahia and AO CMS in Kenya and Gabon, respectively, in Confederation of African Football (Caf) first-leg assignments Wednesday.
Bullets and Silver are still in contention in the Champions League and Confederation Cup but they need to win at all cost in the second legs of the preliminary round scheduled for next week in Malawi.
Silver host CMS at Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe with Bullets welcoming the Kenyans at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre.
Gor Mahia scored in injury time at Kasarani Stadium in Nairobi through substitute Bernard Ondiek whereas Nani Nono Yohann’s 17th minute goal earned CMS the win.
Capital FM of Kenya website reports that Ondiek picked up the ball inside the box to thump home after being put through by Humphrey Mieno.
Bullets had their brightest scoring chance in the 32nd minute, winger McFarlen Mgwira’s shot from a distance deflected off Harun Shakava’s back and went out for a corner kick.
Lone striker Chiukepo Msowoya also had a chance to score but he blasted wide.
In the late stages of the game, Bullets deployed some delaying tactics before they were punished.
In post-match interviews, Bullets Coach Kallisto Pasuwa and his Silver counterpart Lovemore Fazili said they were optimistic of winning at home.
“Lapse of concentration cost us the goal. They played well but we believe that we can do more,” Pasuwa said.
The Zimbabwean mentor opted for experience and power in his seemingly defensive line up with Msowoya leading the front line in front of false striker Nelson Kangunje.
In an interview from Libreville, Fazili said his side wasted scoring chances.
“If we play the way we did, I don’t think they will beat us. The players had a grand game and even their fans appreciate that we are a good team,” Fazili said.
Fazili trusted Brighton Munthali in goals with Yinusa Sherriff, Herbert Wayekha, Trevor Kalema and Mark Fodya in defence.
Ghanaian Michael Tetteh and Khuda Muyaba started upfront.
Silver line up: Munthali, Sheriff, Wayekha, Kalema, Fodya, Young Chimodzi Junior, Levison Maganizo, Duncan Nyoni, Thuso Paipi, Muyaba, Tetteh.
Bullets: Ernest Kakhobwe, John Lanjesi, Yamikani Fodya, Pilirani Zonda, Miracle Gabeya, Henry Kabichi, Nelson Kangunje, Chimango Kaira, Righteous Banda, Mgwira, Msowoya.