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CAF Champions League

Big Bullets Shock AmaZulu

Nyasa Big Bullets stunned AmaZulu as the Malawian club won 1-0 in their CAF Champions League Preliminary Round first leg match at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Friday.

Despite dominating the possession, the South African club just couldn’t find the back of the net, and conceded a goal against the run of playing, following a defensive fumble. The Malawians were also reduced to ten men for the entire second half.

Thabo Qalinge had the first chance of the game in the second minute of the game, but Rabson Chiyenda made a good save from the long range effort.

It was an encouraging start for Benni McCarthy’s team who took control of possession early on in the game, and Usuthu were close to having a penalty in the 8th minute, but the referee adjudged that the foul was just outside the box, and from the resulting free kick Chiyenda saved from Luvoyo Memela’s attempt, before Sphesihle Maduna’s shot was deflected wide.

But  despite controlling proceedings AmaZulu weren’t creating as many chances as McCarthy would have liked, and completely against the run of play, Big Bullets took the lead, as Veli Mothwa spilled a ball and Chiukepo Msowoya made no mistake. 

Thapelo Xoki had a chance from a free kick in the 35th minute, but it went straight at Chiyenda, who saved comfortably. 

And it was almost two to Big bullets in the 40th minute but Adepo Baba Tunde’s effort hit the upright. But a minute later Big Bullets were reduced to ten men for a horrible tackle on Thabo Qalinge. Yamikani Fodya shown a straight red.

It should have been level in the 45th minute, but Maduna’s effort from in front of goal was blazed over, while Kgotso Moleko fluffed an effort in stoppage time. But at the break it remained 1-0 to the Malawian club.

Having only just come on Siphelele Mthembu had a chance in the 48th minute, but his header was over the bar. while another chance fell to Qalinge two minutes later, but Big Bullets were able to clear.

Now with a man advantage, AmaZulu’s domination continued, and Xola Mlambo had a chance in the 59th minute, but his header looped over, while Qalinge’s effort three minutes later was also wide.

But despite all the possession, and being a man up, AmaZulu were not creating enough chances, and when they eventually did get the ball into the back of the net in the 76th minute, Xoki’s attempt was disallowed for a foul on Chiyenda.

Keagan Buchanan shot wide in the 80th minute, as did Mthembu three minutes later. Tercious Malepe shot over in the 85th minute, but AmaZulu could not find the equaliser.

Buchanan hit the woodwork with two late efforts, as Usuthu threw everything at the visitors, but just couldn’t score.

As stoppage time came, there was a handball that looked in the box, but the ref awarded a free kick. minute later Limbikani Mzava shot straight at Chiyenda.

A disappointing result for McCarthy, who will wonder how his team lost this match.