TNM Super League defending champions Nyasa Big Bullets returned to winning ways after beating Zomba-based Red Lions 1-0 at Mpira Stadium in Blantyre yesterday.
The People’s Team have now opened a three-point gap over second-placed Silver Strikers.
Bullets—who have played 25 games just as Silver—are at the summit of the table with 52 points.
Both teams remain with five games each—one away and four at home.
Yesterday’s victory came after the People’s Team had a run of four games without a win. They lost to Silver in the FDH Bank Cup quarter-finals on Wednesday last week, lost to Moyale Barracks 1-0 at Mzuzu Stadium and drew with Mzuzu Warriors in the league and to Uganda’s Express in the Cecafa Cup final two weeks ago.
At Mpira Stadium, Bullets struggled in the first 25 minutes. They played most of the time in their half as Lions pressed with menacing attacks.
Lions, who started with strikers Royal Bokosi and Brown Gondwe, had many goal attempts but failed to have a shot on target in the first half which they dominated.
In the second half, both teams made changes with Lions bringing in Pilirani Thuli and Tatenda M’balaka for McPeter Makwale and James Chirwa while Bullets substituted former Red Lions player Paul Kansungwi and MacFallen Mgwira for Meshack Seleman and Bright Munthali respectively.
The changes worked for Bullets as they dominated the better part of the half.
In the 65th minute, Seleman was brought down on the edge of the 18-yard box. The resultant free kick taken by Chimwemwe Idana was parried over by Lions goalkeeper Jacob Kaunda.
Five minutes later, Hassan Kajoke had a chance to score, but he was brought down in the box to give Bullets a penalty.
He took the penalty himself and scored.
The Lions fought hard to equalise but Bullets did enough to protect the lead.
At the end of the game, Bullets coach Kalisto Pasuwa said he was happy with the result.
He said: “Our boys were tired, but we pushed on to win this game. I am happy with the result but I am worried with how we are playing games.”
Red Lions coach Alick Chirwa was not happy with the result, saying: “The referee gave the Bullets a win and he robbed us of our victory. That was not a penalty but we did not want to walk out to abandon the game. Our plan is to finish in the top eight.”
Bullets are remaining with games against Chitipa United, Mafco, Mighty Wanderers and Karonga United at home and Kamuzu Barracks away while Silver face Ekwendeni Hammers, Mzuzu Warriors, Ntopwa and Wanderers at home and Moyale Barracks away.