Moyale Barracks yesterday put up a spirited performance to deny TNM Super League leaders Nyasa Big Bullets’ maximum points when they forced a 3-3 draw thanks to a Deus Nkutu hat-trick.
Following the draw against the Kaning’ina Lions at Mzuzu Stadium, The People’s team wound up their Mzuzu trip with four points, having won 1-0 against Mzuzu University (Mzuni) FC the previous day. Bullets are still on top of the league table with 42 points from 18 games.
In another TNM Super League match played at Nankhaka Ground in Lilongwe yesterday, Blue Eagles held third-placed Silver Strikers to a goalless draw. The result somehow dents the Bankers’ title chase as they now trail Bullets by nine points.
In Mzuzu, the match started on a high note but there was nothing to write home about in the first half as both sides failed to kiss the back of the net.
However, Nyasa Big Bullets came back from recess a changed lot as they started dominating play and tore apart Moyale’s defence.
Chiukepo Msowoya opened the scoring in the 48th minute through a header after receiving the ball from Fischer Kondowe.
Trailing by a goal, Moyale pulled up their socks. Nkutu did what Moyale supporters expected when he pulled one back in the 54th minute when he unleashed a long-range shot which beat Bullets’ goalkeeper Ernest Kakhombwe.
Six minutes later, Chiukepo scored Bullets’ second goal after connecting a cross from Bashir Maunde.
Nelson Kangunje scored the third goal for the Blantyre giants to make it 3-1 at 69 minutes.
But Moyale did not relax. Nkutu came back to score the second goal for the Kaning’ina soldiers at 75 minutes.
As the regulation time was about to come to an end, Nkutu did what Bullets fans did not expect, scoring a heart-breaking goal for the game to end 3-3.
Speaking in a post-match interview, Bullets coach Rodgers Yasini said the result was fair considering that they were playing away.
“Moyale gave us a good game. We scored first but they regained the form and equalised. All in all, it is not a sad result, considering that we were playing away,” he said.
Moyale coach Charles Kamanga thanked his charges for working hard and forcing a draw.
“People counted us out because nine of our key players are serving a ban. It is nice that we have collected a point against Bullets,” he said.
Moyale are on position nine with 21 points from 17 games played so far.
At Nankhaka Ground , the barren draw means that third-placed Bankers have failed to wrestle back the second position which they lost to Be Forward Wanderers who beat Azam Tigers 1-0 on Saturday.
Silver now have 33 points from 17 games while Wanderers have 34 points from the same number of games.
Silver team manager Francis Songo admitted that they now face a mountainous task to catch up with the leaders.
Eagles coach De Klerk Msakakuona said he was impressed with his side’s performance but he complained about lack of firepower in their attacking lines.
“We will continue working hard to finish in a better position,” he said.
Eagles now sit on fifth position with 25 points from 17 games. n