Nyasa Big Bullets Super League title defence in the TNM Super League suffered a significant blow after they went down 1-0 by resilient table toppers Kamuzu Barracks (KB) at Civo Stadium yesterday.
Ndaona Daisi netted the only goal in the 51st minute after capitalising on Yamikani Fodya’s poor back-pass which eluded goalkeeper Rabson Chienda and Daisi smashed the ball into an empty net.
It is Bullets’ second loss in three weeks as they were also humbled by Blue Eagles.
In his post match interview, Bullets coach Callisto Pasuwa feared for the club’s title defence, saying the poor form is taking away the confidence of his men.
“Day by day we are dropping points and it is affecting the confidence of the team. It will not be easy to defend the title. We need to do more,” he said.
Bullets have 18 points from 10 games and lie fourth on the table.
For KB, this was a strong statement of intent as they push to replicate their form that won them their maiden title in 2016.
Having played 11 matches, they remain top of the table with 26 points, just one ahead of Be Forward Wanderers who massacred TN Stars 4-1 yesterday.
The Nomads have a game in hand over their bitter rivals, Bullets.
The Malawi Defence Force side coach Billy Phambala was bullish during the interview, saying he foresaw the victory over Bullets.
“I always enjoy beating top teams. I praise the boys for the good fight. We will keep fighting to remain in title contention,” he said.
None of the teams stamped their authority on the game although Bullets were much better in attacking.
However, they were not organised enough to trouble the hosts’ defence.
It was in the closing stages that Bullets showed real hunger for victory.
Chiukepo hit the post and later set up Mike Mkwate, who could only manage a tame shot that did not trouble goalkeeper Bonage Lweya much.
Msowoya could have put Bullets ahead with virtually the final kick of the match, but in-form goalkeeper proved equal to the ferocious long range drive.
At the start of the second half, Bullets substituted Mkwate for Nelson Kangunje probably to enforce solidity in the middle of the park.
Bullets suffered a setback when forward Hassan Kajoke was stretchered off after sustaining an injury. He was replaced by Brighton Munthali.
Time was cruising away from Bullets and there was no sign of an equaliser in sight.
The visitors substituted ineffective Chimwemwe Idana for versatile Patrick Phiri.
However, the hosts did not give in to Idana’s efforts to score goals.
The closest the People’s Team came near an qualiser was deep in the closing stages.
Defender Bashiri Maunde’s cross was fumbled by Lweya, but Phiri’s connection went over the bar.
At Kamuzu Stadium, Francis Mkonda and Francisco Madinga claimed a brace each as Wanderers cruised to an emphatic victory against TN Stars. Stain Davie netted the visitors consolation from the penalty spot.
In Nkhotakota, Silver Strikers laboured to a 2-1 victory over Dwangwa United. Michael Tetteh netted in the 3rd minute, but Blessings Singini pegged them back before Khuda Muyaba rescued the three points in the second half.
The Bankers lie fifth with 18 points from nine games. They face Blue Eagles at Nankhaka ground this afternoon.
Meanwhile, Civil Sporting Club have continued their recovery from a string of poor results as they claimed a 2-1 victory over Mzuni at Mzuzu Stadium.