Nyasa Big Bullets Football Club has started the Airtel Top 8 title defense by hammering Karonga United Seven Nil at Kamuzu Stadium on Saturday afternoon thanks to goals from a Lanjesi Nkhoma brace and a goal each from Babatunde Adepoju, Anthony Mfune, Stanley Billiat, Henry Kabichi, and Precious Phiri.
Bullets showed their intent to stamp their authority into the match as early 15 seconds when Lanjesi Nkhoma’s culed effort hit the upright with Karonga United Shotstopper managing to clear the rebound.
It didn’t take long until bullets opened the scoring through the in form Anthony Mfune who tapped in a low cross from an enterprising midfielder Thomson Magombo who Who exchanged passes with fellow bullets Reserve graduate Patrick Mwaungulu inside 13 minutes, bullets found a loophole at the left side of defense for Karonga United where the combination of Patrick Mwaungulu, Thomson Magombo and Gomegzan Chirwa proved too hot for Karonga left back Henry Chiwaya who in multiple occasions allowed Chirwa to go past him with ease until on the 30th minute the overlapping defender Chirwa, spotted the unmarked Nkhoma in the box and picked him with a pinpoint pass that allowed the attacker to slot in past Lloyd Munthali through the near post to make it bullets 2 Karonga 0.
Karonga United looked to have to have learnt a defensive lesson by closing the left side by pushing in Josiah Duwa to help in covering the left side of the defense but at the same time they opened the hand side where bullets and captain Precious Sambani managed to dance through some little resistance before crossing in for Patrick Mwaungulu in the box who later picked the unmarked Nkhoma who finished the move by lifting the ball over the heard of Munthali and just under the crossbar to make it bullets 3 nil to the defending champions in the 43rd minute and that proved to be the final score of the half.
In the second period, Karonga United responded by making some tactical changes pushing central midfielder Victor Chirambo into a more attacking position with Hygiene Mwendepeka taking the defensive midfield role where he partnered Geoffrey Kadzitche, but still it changed nothing for Karonga until Christopher Nyambose decided to make a triple substitution taking out Hygiene Mwendepeka, Geoffrey Kadzitche and Lloyd Munthali, and in came, Ramadhan Ntafu, Allen Chihana and Gift Mwazembe. Still this changed nothing as it was bullets again who got onto the scoreboard this time it was Babatunde Adepoju who raced through on goal after being put through by Magombo leaving the striker with a simple task of beating Gift Mwazembe a task he calmly executed to make it 4 nil just after 8 minutes into the second half.
Karonga United had their own chances too, as in the 65th minute Mphatso Kamanga dribbled past three bullets defenders as he cut in from the wing into the box only for Clever Mkungula to save his shot which was Engwina Sha Karonga’s first shot on target of the match. Moments later, just after two minutes an exchange of passes between Josiah Duwa and Sheriff Shamama allowed the later to release a powerful shot from the left which was pushed behind for a corner.
It then looked like the match was going to end with that scoreline until the 83rd minute when Stanley Billiat received an invitation to score from Babatunde Adepoju who fed the attacker with a low which he connected into the back of the net to make it 5 nil to bullets before another goal within seconds of Billiat’s goal this time it was Henry who Kabichi who came in as a 64th minute substitute in place of Magombo who shot from outside the box after receiving the ball from Precious Sambani to beat Mwazembe at the near post and the humiliating defeat was confirmed by a 90th minute close range finish from another substitute Precious Phiri who scored from a low corner delivered in the box by Patrick Mwaungulu to make it Bullets 7 Karonga United 0 with the only upset for being what looked like a groin injury suffered by one of their in form striker Anthony Mfune who was replaced by Babatunde Adepoju in the 35th minute.
Speaking in a post match interview the people’s team headcoach Kalisto Pasuwa praised his charges for showing a commanding display.
“It was important to win this match with a huge margin as we are not sure of what might come in the second leg, but I praise the lads of the performance considering that we are coming from a defeat in the league.” said the Zimbabwean
At the other end his counterpart, Christopher Nyambose said his charges showed much respect to their opponents as they opened up so easily whenever bullets attacked.
” We showed them a lot of respect, we did not close them down in time when they were with the ball and we were walked through so easily but we take this and move forward and see how we are going to prepare for the return leg.” said Nyambose
Airtel Top 8 competition is participated by teams that finish in the top of half the 16 super league teams and season 8 teams that finished from number 1 to 8 in the first round of the super league are the ones competing with the winner pocketing 17 Million Kwacha at the end of the competition.