FCB Nyasa Big Bullets and Tanzanian Premier League giants, Young Africans Sports Club (Yanga) played to a goalless draw in a friendly match to commemorate Malawi’s 59th Independence day celebrations at Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe on Thursday.
Playing in a thunderous, full-capacity stadium the first half was exciting as both teams quickly settled into the game.
The back-to-back defending Tanzanian Champions were more probing as they displayed their versatile attacking to wrap up the first half with 2 clear chances, with the latter coming from Shariphu Kimbowa whose header floundered over the crossbar.
FCB Nyasa Big Bullets’ brightest moment in the first half was a blistering attack on the right flank to the appeasement of the Bullets supporters by Ephraim Kondowe.
Yanga SC suffered an injury blow in the 31st minute when Denis Nkane was stretched off the pitch unconscious after an awkward fall following a collision with Bullets’ Blessings Mpokela.
After recess from the first half played in 35 minutes, Bullets began the second half on the front foot with joint consecutive efforts from Kondowe, Mcfallen Mgwira, and Righteous Banda pilling pressure and creating as many as five chances in the first 10 minutes.
Apart from Bullet’s unlucky footing in front of the goal, Yanga FC had their towering goalkeeper Metacha Mnata to thank for an outstanding performance.
The Tanzanian outfit began to enjoy spells of possession after 28 minutes orchestrated by Joyce Lomalisa in midfield but could not create chances to threaten Bullets.
A last-ditch attempted cross from Banda was punched by Mnata toward Mgwira who couldn’t get to the end of the loose ball.
Coach for Bullets Kalitso Pasuwa hailed Yanga for their dynamics and described the match as a good yardstick for upcoming champion’s league games.
“There were lessons learned from the game of course our problem is that we lose three to four players every season now we are trying to restart with new players in a new system,” Pasuwa said.
Coach for Yanga SC under 20, Said Maulid appreciated the Malawian Government for the opportunity to jointly make merry of the occasion.
“We are in the offseason but we couldn’t deny the invitation, it’s an honor to come and play Malawi during the celebrations,” said Maulid.
Before the action got underway, both teams were jointly greeted by a delegation led by President Lazarus Chakwera and President of Tanzania Samia Hassan.
Local Government Minister Richard Chimwendo Banda, hailed Yanga SC and FCB Big Bullets for gracing the auspicious occasion.