TNM Super League leaders Big Bullets on Sunday opened a nine-point gap between them and second-placed Blue Eagles after a 4-2 victory over resilient Red Lions in a six-goal thriller at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre.
Both sides came into the game hoping to protect their respective records but it was the defending champions who came out unscathed as they maintained their unbeaten run.
The Zomba-based Malawi Defence Force (MDF) side on the other hand, saw their unbeaten record in away games vanish.
It was the visitors who snatched an early lead after goalkeeper Owen Chaima spilled into his own net a weak inside footed Kumbukani Mwambene shot just three minutes into the game.
Bullets responded well as they recovered in time when Chiukepo Msowoya’s near-post header beat goalkeeper Clement Mlombwa from a Yamikani Fodya corner kick in the 16th minute.
Five minutes later poor defending gifted Bullets’ Chikondi Likwemba a goal as he hit the roof of the net after Lions defender Mphatso Ngwira failed to clear a Msowoya freekick.
Bullets were forced to make two substitutions following the injuries of Msowoya who was replaced by Aimable Niyikiza and goalkeeper Chaima was rushed to hospital after a shoulder injury, paving the way for Chimwemwe Kumkwawa to man the posts.
Bullets grabbed the third goal again from a set piece this time it was Henry Kabichi who tapped in from Fodya free kick in the 41st minute.
Lions came back from recess composed and pulled one back through Steve Ziba in the 65th minute, but Bullets took the game beyond the soldiers just four minutes later, this time through James Chilapondwa from the penalty spot after Lions goalkeeper Mlombwa fouled advancing flying winger MacFarlen Ngwira who was deservedly named man-of-the-match.
The win takes Bullets tally to 38 points from 16 games followed by Eagles on second position with 29 points while Silver Strikers, who beat Dedza Young Soccer 2-1, are now third.
Bullets technical director Billy Tewesa, though happy to have bagged full points, lamented referee Ishmail Chizinga’s performance.
“He should have protected our players. Look how our goalkeeper was injured. Yet no card was given,” Tewesa said.
Lions coach Collins Nkuna also bemoaned the referee’s decisions in particular his decision to award Bullets a penalty.
In other games played yesterday, Fisd Wizards held Mzuni to a goalless draw at Mzuzu Stadium while Silver Strikers beat Dedza Young Soccer 2-1 at Silver Stadium in Lilongwe.