Bullets tower on last gasp win to wrap up campaign

Karonga United, had given a guard of honor to crown TNM Super league champions Nyasa Big Bullets but the early exchanges at Kamuzu Stadium showed otherwise although eventually the hosts sealed a 3-2 comeback win to wrap up the title defense.

Tussle for the ball.

It was first of its kind for a super league side to allow fans select their first starting line up for Bullets. This allowed old guns, Nelson Kangunje and Dalitso Sailesi, who have faced stiff competition for places this season making rare starts.

Malawi national council of sports board chairperson, Sunduzwayo Madise, Sulom President Tiya Somba Banda and FAM President Walter Nyamilandu passing medals to Bullets players.

On the other hand, Karonga United banked on the quick runs by former Ntopwa attacker Josiah Duwa, Mphatso Kamanga and Clement Nyondo.

Bullets started the match casually; having known already they would be handed the 15th title on the day.

In the 14 minutes, having dominated with through balls in both fronts, Karonga United led through Duwa whose deflected freekick beat Rabson Chiyenda in goals for Bullets.

It was a Karonga United show as Bullets midfield did very little in coordination with Chimwemwe Idana losing out balls from Kangunje and Sailesi.

Having being set up by Nyondo, Kamanga beat the offside trap before dribbling past the towering but tired looking Miracle Gabeya, for the visitors lead to be extended in the 29th minute.

After 38 minutes, Bullets coach Callisto Pasuwa was forced into making quick changes and it was not surprising that Sailesi was pulled off for Lanjesi Nkhoma, while Kangunje paved way for Henry Kabichi while the fans protested against the substitution of Misheck Selemani for Ernest Petro.

Bullets captains, John Lanjesi and Chimwemwe Idana ready to hoist the trophy.

By halftime, the only upper moment was that their marksman Idana got the Player of the Month for September miniature.

In the second half, Pasuwa sprung another change taking off Anthony Mfune for Stanley Billiat, who had rare moments, playing well with Kajoke and Idana.

Through Kajoke, the hosts earned a lifeline as he headed in from a Billiat through ball and it meant there remained at least thirty minutes to savage a result.

The goal was also a personal leverage for the forward who now had 14 goals, one ahead of Silver Strikersโ€™ Maxwell Phodo with whom he tied before this match.

The second response was however quicker than perhaps expected as at 58 minutes, Nkhoma was brilliantly set up by Kajoke, only to slot in past Yona Milanzi in goals for the visitors.

In trying to contain the Bullets attack, Karonga coach, Dan Zinkambani drew two out Saka for Khumbo Msowoya and Nyondo for Thoko Harrison with ten minutes left.

But as it all seemed that the spoils would be shared on the last day of the season, right back Nangi Nsonga brought Nkhoma down for a penalty for the hosts.

Lanjesi Nkhoma was a marvel to watch.

Kajoke sent Milanzi the wrong way, apparently also sending the fans in the terraces into a fresh spirited frenzy only until the final whistle.

โ€˜โ€™We needed to have done better by sticking to the basics. I however look at this as a good matchโ€™โ€™ said Zinkambani after the match.

On his part, Pasuwa said the team had all reasons to pull the goals back.

โ€˜โ€™Trailing 2 mil at halftime, we had been let down. We just had to give the fans a win at all cost that is why in the second half, we did all we could. What a seasonโ€™ โ€™said the Zimbabwean.

Bullets have now bagged a 15th league title and this time finish with 62 points, four ahead of Silver and seven ahead of third placed Mighty Wanderers who played out to a goalless draw against sixth placed Moyale Barracks who have wrapped up with 46 points today.

Karonga finish the campaign on position five with 46 points.

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