Nyasa Big Bullets coach Callisto Pasuwa has blasted his players for blowing away a 1-0 advantage to lose 3-1 to AmaZulu FC at Bingu National Stadium on Saturday to bow out of the 2020-21 CAF Champions League.
The frustrated Zimbabwean tactician accused his players of underrating their opponents after a 1-0 victory in the first leg in Durban, South Africa a week ago.
In an interview, the visibly angry coach said some of the senior players did not perform according to expectation.
He said: “We saw some childish defending on the part of some senior players. I think some players were thinking we had already won and it would be easy.
“Those childish mistakes at the back have cost us the game and at this level of a competition, you cannot afford to do these kind of mistakes.
“But I have been telling the players every day that it’s not over and we need to be focused but they didn’t listen.”
Bullets were two-nil down inside the opening 15 minutes courtesy of a brace from Bonginkosi Ntuli, who opened the scoring from the spot in the 4th minute before grabbing a brace seven minutes later.
The first goal resulted from a blunder by defender Sankhani Mkandawire who handled the ball while trying to clear it on the line while the second goal came after the back four went to sleep to allow Ntuli back-heel an otherwise harmless cross.
Though Bullets pulled one back through Henry Kabichi, poor marking gifted the visitors a third goal through Siphelele Mthembu to end the bad day in office for Pasuwa.
Following the exit, Bullets will now shift their attention to the TNM Super League title as they host Mafco at Kamuzu Stadium.
“We are out, we have to move on,” said Pasuwa.
His counterpart Benni McCarthy said his charges were better disciplined after the 1-0 home loss to Bullets.
He said: “I think we nailed down the strategy down to a tee, and this result was expected but I didn’t think we would make it so difficult and complicated for ourselves by not winning at home.
“Then having to travel all the way to Malawi and then be under pressure and having to be composed and disciplined in an almost “fight for your life game” situation.
“So I am just happy for the players that they were able to overturn the deficit and show great maturity, experience and desire that we maybe lacked when we were at home.”
Soccer analyst Charles Nyirenda said Bullets’ poor performance was a cause for concern.
He said: “The negative outcome requires a thorough review to establish why a team that gave massive hope to Malawian folks, having won 1-0 away with only 10 men on the field of play for around 60 minutes, froze so badly on home soil.”