Dalitso Sailesi’s last–gasp leveller pulled Big Bullets from the jaws of defeat in a 2-2 draw that left the Kamuzu Stadium hosts and Silver Strikers feeling sick after yesterday’s TNM Super League second-round blockbuster.
Silver left the pitch dejected after conceding with seconds to go whereas Bullets rued missing out on the top spot. They dropped from second to third on 37 points, at par with second-positioned Moyale Barracks and new leaders Blue Eagles who boast a superior goal difference.
The Bankers were seconds away from pulling a sensational win and with it a revenge for the first-round home loss to the People’s Team. But Sailesi had other ideas in added time. Sailesi’s goal sparked celebrations for Bullets whereas Silver and their coach Stein Chirwa felt football was cruel to them having earlier restored their lead through Mada Chiumia in the 77th minute. The goal put Silver back in front, building on Ndaziona Chatsalira’s goal in the 37th minute, but one which Kabichi cancelled out four minutes later.
“We thought we had three points in the bag, but we could not just defend the lead. I cannot blame my boys. I am not worried. We have done well,” said Chirwa in a post-match interview whereas his opposite number Elia Kananji felt his charges were wasteful.
Silver, who beat Blantyre United 3-1 on Saturday, jumped from ninth to seventh on 21 points from 17 games after yesterday’s ill-tempered game on a bright afternoon that pooled a sea of red.
The Bankers had, against the run of play, burst ahead through a quick-fire counter-attack. The Bullets’ midfield workhorse James Chilapondwa, who left the stage at half-time for Tizgobere Kumwenda, was robbed off the ball as Silver counterattacked through Chatsalira who set clear Chawanangwa Kawonga to pull the trigger.
The Bullets goalkeeper Madalitso Kunkwawa punched the ball onto the path of Chatsalira who finished off the job. However, the hosts provided characteristic response through Kabichi’s low half-volley, with the outside of his right boot, on the turn when welcoming Mussa Manyenje’s low cut-back from the left corner area. It was a slow ball that deceived the brilliant Kameza with its first- time execution low as it rolled wide into the net at the far post.
Kabichi threatened to add the second after break, but his long-range bullet grazed the bar. Silver responded, and Bullets had to clear a goal-bound shot after a corner kick. The action swung to the other end. Kumwenda should have scored, but he opted to pass to Sailesi who collided with Kameza forcing tempers to flare up.