Mighty Wanderers yesterday ended Nyasa Big Bullets’ dominance after stunning their rivals 1-0 in a lively TNM Super
League Blantyre derby at Kamuzu Stadium.
Striker Vincent Nyangulu scored the precious goal in the 30th minute after a clinical finish from midfielder Yamikani Chester’s assist.
The victory marked the end of Nomads’ nine-year wait to beat their rivals in the TNM Super League and Bullets’ eight-year unbeaten home record.
It was also the first time in four years for the Blantyre derby to produce a winner since August 2017 after previous five encounters between the two sides produced draws.
The last time the two sides met in the 2021 TNM Super League season first round, the match was abandoned due to crowd trouble while the scoreline was at one-all.
The match was later declared a draw by Super League of Malawi (Sulom) and Wanderers, who had an upper hand in that match, felt
betrayed by poor officiation.
It is not a surprise then that yesterday, Wanderers were in control of the game while Bullets played catch-up for the good part of the game.
Midfielders Wisdom Mpinganjira, Vitumbiko Kumwenda, Felix Zulu and Chester caused a lot of problems for Bullets’ defence, creating respectable chances for striker Nyangulu.
In contrast, Bullets’ midfield was overwhelmed and with their star player and captain Chimwemwe Idana looking out of sorts, there were no passes the midfielder is well-known for.
The Nomads defence proved the better one as Yunus Sheriff, Stanley Sanudi and Peter Cholopi put a Bullets attacking trio of Hassan Kajoke, Babatunde Adepoje and Chiukepo Msowoya on short leash.
Just after the half-hour mark, Wanderers were on song. Chester’s slick pass was the real deal while Nyangulu’s predatory instincts proved vital as the striker slotted past Bullets goalkeeper Richard Chimbamba.
Bullets tried to respond with a counter-attack soon after the goal Msowoya sending long-range shot which Wanderers goalkeeper Richard Chipuwa stretched to keep out for a corner.
Chipuwa then produced a magical save from the corner, tipping over striker Babatunde’s header.
The first-half ended with Bullets searching for an equaliser which never came.
The second-half even proved tough for Bullets as they were never a threat for composed Wanderers.
For coach Bob Mpinganjira, it was a day worth remembering after his predecessors for the past nine season failed to achieve what he did.
He said: “I am happy that the players did exactly what we wanted to do. It was not an easy game. We worked hard for it,” he said in post-match interview.
The result means Wanderers have blown the league title open to top three teams—leaders Bullets, second-placed Silver Strikers and the Nomads.
Bullets still lead the table with 56 points while Silver have 55 points. The Nomads have 51 points, but with a game in hand.
But Bullets assistant coach Peter Mponda downplayed the loss, saying they still are capable of defending the championship.
He said: “We are a team that know how to win the championship. We are going to Lilongwe to play Kamuzu Barracks in our next game before we play Karonga United at home. We can win both games and defend the championship