Resilient Mafco twice came from behind to force a 2-2 draw that pushed Big Bullets to third on the TNM Super Legaue ladder as life returned to Kamuzu Stadium on Sunday, four months after its closure.
Bullets, whose defence looked out of sorts after Sankhani Mkandawire’s head injury on three minutes, now have 39 points. The People’s Team is one point behind title holders Silver Strikers, who beat Blue Eagles 1-0 on Sunday in Lilongwe, and three points trailing leaders, Blantyre United’s 42 points.
Mafco, with man of the match Sadani Magwere controlling the midfield, counted themselves unlucky to trail on the fifth minute when Diverson Mlozi finished off from the goal a Godfrey Masonda’s goal-bound drive.
Playing with patience, directness and exciting running off the ball, Mafco responded through Saidi Mtekama’s spinning header which Bullets goalkeeper Vincent Gona misjudged in the 32nd minute. The ‘keeper flapped and missed the ball. But Douglas Chirambo eventually restored the Bullets’ lead.
It was on the 41st minute when Fischer Kondowe squared his right-side corner kick for Chirambo to smash an unstoppable left foot scorcher past helpless Mafco custodian Bester Phiri. It was a goal of the year contender that had celebrating ganyu fans drumming the iron sheets used to cordon off the condemned southern terraces.
But Mafco were not done. Magwere’s flicks, turn and run on the left wing resulted in a cross. Bullets defence went to sleep allowing Jimmy Zungu to control the ball and poke it past confused Gona. There ended the first-half.
After break, both sides tried to fashion some chances but Mlozi, Dalitso Sailesi and Masondo were guilty of wastage just like Osward Nkagula and Mtekama of Mafco.
Mafco coach Stereo Gondwe, was nonetheless happy to pick four points on the road having beaten Bvumbwe Research 1-0 on Saturday.
“It was a good game Bata [Big Bullets] and us played well. We cannot blame officiation [by Sam Mangansanja] either. Football was the winner today. It is never easy collecting four points away especially playing a big team like Bullets,” Gondwe said while Ng’onamo admitted that the draw undermined their title pursuit.
In Mzuzu, Mighty Wanderers, who drew 0-0 with Moyale Barracks on Saturday, beat Kabwafu United 3-0 through goals from Pempho Chibweya, Diverson Chilemba, and Idrissa Walesi while in Lilongwe Civo United’s Dan Katunga and Lazarus Chirwa punished Azam Tigers 2-0. Wanderers have 35 points on fifth place. Frank Banda scored Silver’s winner.