It was payback time and Big Bullets did it in dazzling fashion on Saturday when they beat Mighty Wanderers 1-0 in a Carlsberg Charity Shield encounter to cart home a cool K500 000.
Veteran forward Heston Munthali scored the lone goal of the match in the 70th minute in a pulsating contest that shredded the nerves of the huge turnout at the Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre.
Player of the moment Gabadini â€˜Gabadinhoâ€™ Mhango was the architect of the priceless goal when he found Munthali with a pass that oozed class and the latterâ€™s control, swivel and shot were faultless.
However, the match was marred by some ugly scenes when some Nomads fans threw missiles on the pitch in protest against referee Fransisco Scovaâ€™s decision to show their captain Foster â€˜Zagafâ€™ NamwelaÂ a red card following an off-the-ball incident towards the end of the match.
It was an unfortunate incident coming just a day after the sponsors Carlsberg Malawi Limited warned against acts of violence and hooliganism.
That aside, the Peopleâ€™s Team were in total control from the word go, forcing their rivals into rear-guard action.
They had four close attempts in the first half. Chimango Kaira was unfortunate not to score when his powerful drive hit the crossbar.
At the dot of half time, substitute Gomezgani Gondweâ€”who replaced out of sorts Diverson Chilembaâ€” would have scored for Nomads with his first touch, but his header was brilliantly kept out by â€˜keeper Owen Chaima.
Bullets were awarded a penalty in the 50th minute when a dangerously advancing Diverson Mlozi, who had a grand game, was brought down in the goal area, but â€˜Gabadiniâ€™s spot kick was kept out by Nomads goal-tender Richard Chipuwa.
As desperation took its toll, the Nomads stepped up their game. Twice, Anthony Banda came very close, but his efforts were thwarted by the alert Bullets defence marshalled by George â€˜Luizâ€™ Nyirenda.
Towards the end of the match, the referee failed to take a firm line, leading to tense final moments.
Bullets coach Eddington Ngâ€™onamo expressed relief with the win.
â€œI am happy that we have won the match. They (Wanderers) were talking very tough prior to the game, but I advised the boys to keep their feet on the ground.
â€œThey were saying ndife akazi awo, [we are their wives] but today it has turned out the other way round,â€ said a jubilant Ngâ€™onamo.
Wanderers team manager McHodges Chunga admitted that it was not their day.
â€œBut the referee was also biased towards Bullets. He awarded them a needless penalty and showed our captain the red card and that affected our game,â€ said Chunga.
After the game, there were scenes so lovely at the stadium and surrounding areas as Bullets fans danced jigs of celebration. n