Nyasa Big Bullets and Be Forward Wanderers’ TNM Super League title chase continued to gather momentum on Wednesday when they bagged full points against Kamuzu Barracks (KB) and Masters Security, respectively.
At Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre, two second-half goals from midfielder Chimwemwe Idana and substitute Chiukepo Msowoya ensured that the champions remained at the summit of the 16-team top-flight league with a 2-0 victory over the Lilongwe-based Malawi Defence Force (MDF) side.
The Nomads also kept piling pressure on Bullets with a 1-0 victory over Masters at Nankhaka ground in Lilongwe.
Bullets now have 58 points from 26 matches, just a point above the Nomads. They have four games each before they wind up the season.
After a goalless first half which was evenly balanced, the scales appeared to swing Bullets’ way in the second half as they pinned KB in their own half, but their efforts were thwarted by ‘keeper Bonage Lweya who had a grand game.
And as time ticked on, the stadium oozed anxiety as desperation took its toll for the hosts after getting wind of the news that their rivals were leading in Lilongwe.
Then it came. A shot from striker Hassan Kajoke in the 67th minute was cleared by a KB defender and, in a flash, Idana swung up field on the edge of the 18-yeard box, his gaze fixed on the ball as it spun towards him and he headed it into the net past the helpless Lweya to send Bullets faithful into frenzy.
And like their slogan that ‘Bullets nkumadzulo[never write off Bullets]’, the People’s Team upped the tempo and doubled the lead in the 88th minute through Msowoya who made amends for an earlier miss in front of a yawning net.
In a post-match interview, Bullets coach Callisto Pasuwa said: “After failing to score in the first half, we went flat out in the second half to score two goals and that should be the spirit.”
KB assistant coach Temwa Msuku, whose side is eighth with 39 points from 28 matches, rued missed chances.
At Nankhaka, Wanderers could have gone in front as early as five minutes into the match when striker Babatunde Adepoju raced through the Masters defence but with only goal keeper Bester Phiri to beat, he sent his shot into the sky.
The Nomads continued to pressurise the hosts but their other real chance came in the injury time when forward Zicco Mkanda, under pressure, unleashed a terrific shot which goalkeeper Phiri saved. Midfielder Isaac Kaliyati’s ferocious rebound was well blocked by the hosts’ defence.
It paid dividends somehow as Wanderers were more dominant offensively. They finally broke the deadlock in the 74th minute when a Kaliati corner-kick caused a mix-up in the box and Vincent Nyangulu punished his former team.
Wanderers coach Bob Mpinganjira said it felt good to win and sustain their title hopes.
Masters assistant coach Jabil Maliro, whose side is languishing at the bottom of the table with 20 points from 27 matches, conceded defeat.
He, however, expressed belief that they will win their remaining three matches and survive relegation.