After two consecutive defeats in the Cecafa Cup final and FDH Bank Cup quarter-finals, Nyasa Big Bullets failed to bounce back following a 1-0 defeat to Moyale Barracks at Mzuzu Stadium on Saturday.
Lloyd Njaliwa scored the all important goal in the 28th minute from a Chamveka Gwetsani cross.
Moyale controlled the game in the first half in which Bullets had no shot on target.
Bullets coach Kalisto Pasuwa made three changes in the second half, bringing in Yamikani Fodya for Eric Kaonga, McFaren Mgwira for Anthony Mfune, who made his debut for the People’s Team and Brightone Munthali for Blessings Mpochera.
However, the changes did not yield anything as Moyale defence was equal to the task.
Bullets’ wasted a golden chance to equalise through Munthali at the last minute of the game.
In a post-match interview, Pasuwa who is gunning for a third consecutive title, admitted that his game-plan did not work.
“We wanted to refresh the team by bringing fresh legs that did not play more games at Cecafa, but that did not go according to our expectation. I take the blame as coach for the loss,” he said.
On the other hand, Moyale assistant coach Pritchard Mwansa thanked his charges for the victory.
“The boys did a good job today. They played as planned. It’s good that we have collected maximum points,” he said.
Moyale’s win is a revenge from the first round 5-1 defeat in a reverse fixture.
With the win, Moyale have moved to fifth from seventh position with 40 points from 25 games.
Bullets needed maximum points to increase their chances of defending TNM Super League title as they are leading the table with 48 points from 23 games, two points above Silver, who have played one more match.
Today, Bullets play Mzuzu Warriors while the Bankers will face Blue Eagles.
Meanwhile, Ntopwa held Mighty Wanderers to a goalless draw at Mpira Stadium on Saturday in a match both teams wasted good scoring opportunities.
Wanderers’ striker Vincent Nyangulu hit the post twice and shot over the bar.
Ntopwa goalkeeper Richard Mwaila also kept his team in the game with crucial saves.
In an interview, Wanderers coach Bob Mpinganjira said it was a tricky game.
“It was a very difficult game, especially in the first half we were complacent. It’s unfortunate that we didn’t score from the many chances we created,” he said.
Ntopwa technical director Isaac Jomo Osman said their game-plan worked.
“It was a tough game, but we could have won from the chances we created,” he said.
In other results, TN Stars 2 Mighty Tigers 1, Karonga United 4 Kamuzu Barracks 0 and Civo beat Mafco 1-0 at Civil Stadium.