Nyasa Big Bullets have for the first time this season ascended to the summit of TNM Super League log table after sweating blood to edge Karonga United 4-3 at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre.
The defending champions had to come from behind twice in the seven-goal thriller to claim the victory and bag full points. Bullets now tie with Blue Eagles at 45 points, but they have a better goal aggregate.
Mafco are third with 44 points while Silver Strikers are fourth with 43 points. Contrary to Bullets diehards hopes that relegation battling Karonga United would be a pushover, the odds turned against the hosts as the visitors went on to dominate and open the floodgates just 26 minutes into the first-half through impressive Khumbo Msowoya.
Bullets equalised through Henry Kabichi three minutes later before captain Chiukepo Msowoya doubled the lead in the 41st minute through a penalty.
But Karonga cancelled Bullets’ lead through Khumbo Msowoya before William Mwalwimba scored the third for the visitors in the 48th minute.
Chiukepo cancelled the lead again in the 62nd minute to restore Bullets’ hope of bagging maximum points.
But Bullets had to wait until the 87th minute for the winning goal which Karonga protested that striker Manyenje was offside when he played in goal-scorer Kondwani Kumwenda.
After the match, Karonga assistant coach Oscar Kaunda bemoaned the officiation. “The fourth goal was clearly from an offside position.
He [Manyenje] was clearly offside when he passed the ball to the scorer,” he said. For Bullets, it was sweet revenge after losing to Karonga United 1-0 in the first round at Mzuzu Stadium.
However, team manager Rahim Ishmael said they need to improve in defence.
“In other games we have been struggling to score, but today we managed to score four goals which is a big improvement. But we also conceded those three goals which means we have to work on the defence,” he said.
Elsewhere Azam Tigers were held to a one-all draw by Epac FC at MDC Stadium. In Lilongwe, Harvey Mkacha’s strike in the firsthalf and a Kelvin Hanganda goal in the second-half, was all Kamuzu Barracks needed to beat Moyale Barracks 2-0 at Civo Stadium to make a strong stand as title contenders.
KB coach Billly Phambala said his side has potential to go all the way.