Nyasa Bullets will have to wait longer to win the TNM Super League after losing to Masters Security on Saturday at Dedza Stadium.
Masters, who also booted them out of the Carlsberg Cup semi-finals, handed Bullets their first loss of the season.
Victory would have moved the People’s Team closer to the title but they have to wait to win two games from their remaining four games.
They are still six points clear of second-placed Silver Strikers but the league leaders have a game in hand from 18 wins, seven draws and one loss as the season draws.
Francis Mkonda’s goal in 63rd minute hit Bullets hard as they never recovered.
The margin could have been bigger had Masters utilised their chances.
Bullets need six points to win the league and now they remain with four games.
The win was a dent on Bullets’ Zimbabwe coach Callisto Pasuwa.
They had gone into the match after winning all their last four league games against TN Stars (2-1), Blue Eagles (1-0), Dwangwa (2-0) and Mafco (3-1).
But it was never to be against Masters who also booted them out of the Carlsberg Cup semifinals last month.
Masters win was no sheer luck but good game plan and determination thriving on counter attacks.
The hosts had two clear chances in the first half which could have resulted in goals but talisman Babatunde Adebayo and Amadu Makawa were wasteful.
It was a difficult start for Bullets who were yet to get used to a bumpy dusty pitch and could not impose their attacking game on a resilient home side.
But they had chances too but did not use them.
Not only did Bullets lose but defender Sankhani Mkandawire had to be sent off for a crude tackle on a Masters Security player.
Mkandawire was booked earlier for a foul on Babatunde and the second bookable offence forced the referee to give him marching orders.
Patrick Phiri came close to scoring in the 23rd minute of the game but a block from Eric Akika prevented that.
Sankhani Mkandawire’s second bookable offence reduced Bullets to a man down but coach Pasuwa said it did not contribute to the team’s first loss of the season.
“We were losing chance after chance. So we thought we were Oky,” he said.
He added: “When we were 11 they had one chance they scored yet we had our chances and we could not score.”
The Zimbabwean expatriate coach, however, blamed the loss on the bad pitch.
“These boys are used to passing, but on surface like this it was difficult for them,” he said.
Commenting on their chances of winning the title said: We have to take game by game in order to pick up the championship.”
His counterpart Abbas Makawa said it was a historic win for the team beating league leaders.
“It’s a sweet victory considering that we have beaten Big Bullets,” he said.
Mafco FC’s chance to remain in the TNM Super League appears slim as they are stuck in the relegation zone on position 15 following 0-1 loss to Moyale Barracks Saturday at Mzuzu Stadium.
Gastin Simkonda put the life of fellow soldiers in danger by scoring the only goal for Moyale from a powerful rebound header.
In the second half, the home team began where they had left.
But sadly the red card at 47 minutes to Chrispin Fukizi made Moyale’s life difficult.
Mafco assistant Yohane Fuleya said they still have chances to survive relegation.
At Kamuzu Stadium Be Forward Wanderers thrashed Nchalo United 6-1 with Zicco Mkanda scoring hat-trick,Stanley Sanudi, Precious Sambani, and Yamikani Chester scored a goal each.