By Twimepoki Mangani
FCB Nyasa Big Bullets have advanced to the second preliminary round of the CAF Champions League, for the first time since 2015, after defeating Equatorial Guinea’s Dragon FC 1-0 in the reverse fixture at Bingu National Stadium on Sunday.
Bullets went straight to business soon after kick-off, evidenced by well-worked passes between Precious Phiri and Charles Petro in offense.
Gomezgani Chirwa and Anthony Mfune linked well on the right flank while Gasteni Phodo and Lanjesi Nkhoma were attacking from centre and left respectively.
While Dragon looked nervy throughout most of the first half, Jose Choni gave them a reason to believe when he let fly a dangerous attempt from outside the penalty box which was saved by Bullets goalie Richard Chimbamba.
Dragon continued to threaten and caught Chimbamba out of position in the 20th minute, but Ludovid Abeso fired wide with an empty goal in front of him.
In the 34th minute, Bullets Clyde Senaji produced a brilliant pass to Phiri who returned the favour before the ball was squared to Mfune whose shot was saved by Gustave Guireelf in goals for Dragon.
After the break, the match continued to be a balanced affair, but Bullets demonstrated classic defending as they suffocated Dragon’s offensive build-up
The home team’s second half substitutes made the difference, as Patrick Mwaungulu slid in a pass to a fellow sub Ephraim Kondowe, who broke the deadlock in the 67th minute to throw the stadium into a joyous uproar.
Expressing his thoughts after the match, Calisto Pasuwa, who is head coach for Bullets, said the match was different from the first leg, adding they are in a difficult position with the absence of key players.
“The lead got into our minds no wonder we lost some of the chances we had; however, we shall build from such experience.
“In the first half, we wanted to maintain the game and decided to bring in the offensive players later to finish off the game,” Pasuwa added.
On the other hand, Dragon FC coach Antonio Pancho Milam expressed satisfaction with his team’s performance, noting they played a good team in Bullets.
Milam also accused the Equatorial Guinea Football Association for not providing smooth logistics, saying some of his players did not make it to Malawi for the encounter.
With the 3-0 aggregate victory, Bullets will face TP Mazembe of DR Congo in the second round of the CAF Champions League.