* One point ahead of FCB Nyasa Big Bullets following the 2022 champions’ 0-1 loss to Chitipa United on Saturday
* Mighty Mukuru Wanderers FC are occupying third position with 17 points — level with the Bullets
Analysis by SULOM
The competitiveness of the 2023 TNM Super League is again coming to the fore with Silver Strikers FC taking over the league leadership after narrowly beating Kamuzu Barracks FC 1-0 on Sunday.
Stain Davie’s solitary strike catapulted the Capital City giants to pole position on 18 points — one point ahead of FCB Nyasa Big Bullets following the 2022 champions’ 0-1 loss to Chitipa United on Saturday.
Mighty Mukuru Wanderers FC are occupying third position with 17 points — level with their cross town rivals despite the Lali Lubani Road side hauling maximum points at the dreaded Karonga Stadium on the closing day of match week 8.
Over the past seven weeks the Nomads and the Peoples Team have been exchanging leadership at the helm of the league whereas the Bankers have been keeping a hot pursuit on the two Blantyre-based sides.
Now Dutch coach, Pieter de Jongh’s charges have to show resilience and take full control of their own destiny in the coming weeks if they will have to mount a Serious title challenge.
The Bankers have all what it takes to go all the way as they look like a complete machine with their top marksman Davie providing the goals as he is now neck to neck on seven goals with Bullets’ slippery attacker Lanjesi Nkhoma.
New acquisition Chimwemwe Idana continues to shine with stellar Man of the Match perfomances in successive matches.
It is Chitipa United’s fairly tale, however, that made big news again this week as the rookies rollercoster season continued with coach McDonald Mtetemera’s charges giant killing spree continuing after putting Bullets to the sword 1-0 just seven days of another shock victory over the Nomads in a similar fashion.
With 13 points, the Inkhalamu Zgha Chitipa have climbed further to position 4 in the league sending shivers across the division.
The Lions have been roaring fiercely the past few weeks where solid defending coupled with high pressing play has provided leverage over unsuspecting opponents.
It is now in their hands to maintain with their current form and wrestle to the top.
Other talking points of the week included Bangwe All Star’s 2-0 victory over lackluster Red Lions after weeks of not getting positive results. On the other hand the soldiers from Zomba continue to be mired into deeper waters and need quick redemption sooner.
On Sunday, Dedza Dynamos had to redeem themselves from an imminent he defeat when they rallied back from a goal down to snatch a 2-1 hard-fought victory over Civil Service United.
As a recap, Bullets should not be counted out of contention as they still continue to dominate local football as they eye five consecutive titles of the total of 16 since the inception of the top flight league.
Their 2022 runners-up are Blue Eagles having finished with 59 points; 2016 champions Kamuzu Barracks were third place with 57 points; Mighty Wanderers finished fourth position with 56 points and Silver Strikers fifth with 51 points.
The Super League was created in 1986 and was first sponsored by Gillet Nacet. It was composed of eight teams — five from Blantyre & Districts Football League (BDFL) and three from Lilongwe & Districts Football League (LDFL).
Nyasa Big Bullets — formerly named Bata Bullets, Total Bullets and Bakili Bullets have won most of the titles (16) as inaugural champions in 1986, followed by 1991, 1992, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2014, 2015, 2018, 2019, 2020-21, 2022.
Silver Strikers follow at 8 (1993, 1994, 1996, 2008, 2010, 2011–12, 2012-13 and 2013.
Mighty Wanderers won it six times (1990, 1995, 1997, 1998, 2006 and 2017); ESCOM United twice (2007, 2010–11); and once by Admarc Tigers (1989); Civo United ((1987); MDC United (1988); Kamuzu Barracks (2016).
Interestingly, none has beaten the record as top goalscorer since Big Bullets former striker, Ganizani Malunga who 28 in 2002/03 season while Mighty Wanderers’s former players Aggrey Kanyenda came close with 26 in 2005-06 as well as Heston Munthali then for MDC United with 24 in 2001/02.
The Bullets’ Hassan Kajoke and Silver’s Khuda Muyaba hit the net 21 times (2020-21) for Kajoke and 2019 for Muyaba while the current top sniper Babatunde tied with seven previous top scorers of the season at 18 goals.—Additional reporting by Maravi Express