- Bullets edge Nomads in Energem Bonanza
Nyasa Big Bullets yesterday edged their age-old rivals Be Forward Wanderers 4-3 in a pulsating Energem International Bonanza seven goal thriller which dragged the turnout through a bewildering gut of emotions at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre.
The victory saw the People’s Team finishing second in the four-team event with six points while the Nomads finished bottom with no point having lost all their three matches.
Chicken Inn from Zimbabwe emerged the champions after winning all their games in the three-day round robin formated international showpiece.
The Bulawayo-based outfit beat UD Songo from Mozambique 2-0 in an early kick off through a goal in each half from Brett Amidu and Leroy Ndlovu.
Last year’s tournament was also won by a foreign team Ferroviario de Nampula from Mozambique.
The latest episode of the Blantyre derby was a contest of rare splendour. The entertainment was compelling and the drama ceaseless.
Wanderers surged ahead barely a minute into the match even before the fans had the feel of the action through their marksman Vincent Nyangulu.
But as the Nomads fans were floating on air, celebrating that goal, Bullets levelled the scores a minute later when Bright Munthali took advantage of a defensive lapse to connect home a Gomezgani Chirwa cross from the right.
The People’s Team then went on to take the lead in the 18th minute when Luke Chima’s shot hit the woodwork and on pounced Mike Mkwate to provide the final flourish from the rebound.
And with three minutes before the interval, Bullets scored the third, albeit in bizarre circumstances when Nomads goaltender William Thole fumbled a harmless shot from Ernest Petro and the ball rolled over him into the net.
Bullets made it 4-1 in the 62nd minute with a move of utter beauty which resulted in substitute Hassan Kajoke’s shot squirming past helpless Thole.
But just when the red side of town thought they were in the comfort zone, Wanderers reduced the arrears in the 72nd minute with a fine header from a beautifully flighted corner kick.
The goal invigorated the Nomads who went on to claim the third through Nyangulu five minutes later.
And with diminutive Richard Rabson turning on a vintage display on the left flank, Bullets were on the backfoot in the closing stages, but they survived the scare.
Wanderers head coach Bob Mpinganjira said the tournament has given them plenty of food for thought ahead of the forthcoming 2020 season.
“It’s disappointing that we have finished last, but there are plenty of lessons drawn from this tournament.
“We will go back to the drawing board to work on out shortfalls,” he said.
His Bullets counterpart Callisto Pasuwa said although they need to do some homework on their defending, he was satisfied with his charges’ overall performance.
“I would say we are 55 percent ready for the new season… I was happy with how the boys knocked the ball around. It showed that we are getting there,” he said.