Nyasa Big Bullets kicked off the 2019 TNM Super League second round with a 3-0 victory over Masters Security at Kamuzu Stadium on Saturday.
The win takes The People’s Team to second position after finishing the first round third with 29 points on the standings from 15 games.
From 16 games played now Bullets have collected 32 points, four below league leaders BE Forward Wanderers who were 1-0 victors away to Kamuzu Barracks at Civo Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The reigning champions had to start the second half of the season on a high note after crashing out of the CAF Champions League last weekend after suffering a 3-2 defeat away to FC Platinum in Zimbabwe.
Bullets had a fast start searching for an early and the boys unlocked the visitors’ defence twice and won a corner kick within the opening minute, before Patrick Phiri found the back of the net in the ninth minute after powering the ball home from 25 yards.
Patrick could have doubled the lead seven minutes later after exchanging passes with Chiukepo Msowoya inside the box, unfortunately his strike went over the bar before the striker went down.
Masters Security goalkeeper Bester Phiri nearly gifted Bullets a goal after he found himself outside the area and dribbled past Patrick before losing the ball to Henry Kabichi close to the centre circle, but the midfielder’s attempt went wide.
Bullets came close again in the 29th minute as Patrick had Bester Phiri to beat after breaking away, however he was unfortunate as he saw his strike stopped by the Masters custodian. The striker went down again due to an injury before he was replaced by Mike Mkwate in the 33rd minute.
The visitors nearly grabbed an equalizer a minute before the home side made the substitution as the defence went shaky, but former Bullets midfielder Eneya Banda had his drive from the edge of the 18-yard-area off target.
Hassan Kajoke doubled Bullets’ lead in the 39th minute as he tapped in Peter Banda’s lovely ball into the far right corner of the net, leaving Bester Phiri helpless, before Gomegzani Chirwa made it 3-0 in two minutes of additional time in the first half.
Kajoke had a great opportunity two minutes from the break after receiving the ball from Mkwate close to the six-yard box. The striker had room to shoot but was too playful as he tried to dribble in the area before the ‘keeper came off his line to block his shot.
Four minutes later Kajoke had another good opportunity after being set by Msowoya in the six-yard but Bester Phiri did well to deny the striker his second goal with a great save.
The two teams made changes in the 58th minute as Bullets introduced Aziz Mwakifuna for Chimwemwe Idana while Masters introduced an ex-Bullets striker Mussa Manyenje for Eneya Banda.
Kajoke wasted another opportunity in the 66th minute as he found his way into the box but was too slow to open fire and Masters came in quick to close him down. The striker made a beautiful turn three minutes later before releasing the ball to Chirwa whose attempt went off target.
At 70 minutes Bullets introduced Luke Chima for Chiukepo Msowoya while a moment later the visitors pulled out Beston Jimu for Tizgobele Kumwenda, another former Bullets player.
The People’s team kept creating chances in search of another goal and with two minutes to go, Chirwa sent a lovely cross into the box to find Chima, who was unfortunate as he saw his header coming off the crossbar.
The final chance of the match went into Masters’ way as the visitors won a free kick few yards from the edge of the penalty box, but Manyenje failed to put the setpiece into good use as he sent the ball hovering over the bar to surrender a 3-0 defeat after the two sides had shared points in the first round following a goalless draw at Dedza Stadium.