Nyasa Big Bullets’ preparations for CAF Champions League are on track after they drew 0-0 with JKU SC yesterday at Aman Stadium in Zanzibar.
However, that is not the same with their Champions League opponents Gor Mahia of Kenya, who have been hit by internal wrangles just three weeks before the two sides clash.
After travelling without their captain John Lanjesi, Chiukeupo Msowoya, Patrick Phiri, Yamikani Fodya, Mike Mkwate and Rabson Chiyenda who are with the Flames and Under-23 national team, coach Callisto Pasuwa featured players who usually do not make his first XI.
He started with Ernest Kakhobwe in goals while stand-in captain Pilirani Zonda, Sankhani Mkandawire, Miracle Gabeya and Emmanuel Zoya formed the back four.
Kondwani Kumwenda. Chimango Kayira, Precious Phiri and Dalitso Sailesi were deployed in the midfield while Dave Banda and Collen Nkhulambe played upfront.
But unlike in the first friendly which Bullets won 2-0 at Kamzuu Stadium in Blantyre, this time the Zanzibar paramilitary outfit denied Bullets any goals.
Pasuwa said the match had given him a chance to try most of the players that have not been in his starting XI.
“It was a good game. It gave me a chance to try several players,” he said.
“We look forward to the second game against Simba which I know will be tougher than this one.”
But as Bullets face Simba FC this afternoon in their second friendly match, Gor Mahia were yesterday trying to quell a training boycott over unpaid dues, according to www.goal.com.
They have also been denied access to their base, Camp Toyoyo due to unpaid rentals.
Gor Mahia captain Haron Shakava was yesterday quoted by www.goal.com confirming that they have not been paid but said they were ready to go back to training one a ground is available.
“We are prepared to hit the ground running but we have not yet received any communication regarding the training venue. It is a fact we have not been paid, but there is nothing like a go-slow because we know they will pay us; we are already looking forward to the new season,’ he said.
The two sides clash in the first leg of the Champions League preliminary round on November 27/28 in Nairobi.
The second leg will be played at Kamuzu Stadium a week letter.
The winner of the two-legged encounter will face either Lobi Stars of Nigeria or UMS de Loum of Cameroon for a spot in the lucrative group phase of the tournament.
Gor Mahia qualified for the 2018/2019 CAF Confederation Cup group stage, missing the knockout stage by a whisker.