FCB Nyasa Bullets have extended their lead at the summit of the TNM Super League following a 2-0 triumph over Chitipa United at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre.
The defending champions, who have two games in hand, are now three points clear of second-placed Mighty Mukuru Wanderers who have 47 points from 25 games.
All Bullets needed were goals from Kenyan striker Collins Okumu in the ninth minute and Lanjesi Nkhoma in the 21st minute to exact revenge for the first round loss to the giant killers from the Northern Region.
Bullets showed their urgency to score as early as the first five minutes when they hit the post twice through Ephraim Kondowe and Gomezgani Chirwa.
Chitipa goalkeeper George Chikooka was also called to duty to deny Kondowe.
But Chikooka could not keep out Okumu’s powerful header from a free-kick taken by Bullets set-pieces specialist Patrick Mwaungulu.
Bullets went on to double the lead from the spot through Nkhoma after a foul by Chitipa’s Blessings Joseph on Kondowe in the box.
Chitipa almost pulled one back in the 33rd minute but Bullets goalkeeper Rabson Chiyenda denied Ramadan Ntafu with a fine save.
Just after half-time, Chirwa’s powerful shot ricocheted from the post after he was played in by Mwaungulu.
Though a goalless second half, Bullets enjoyed massive possession as they knocked the ball around with Chitipa just chasing their shadows.
In a post-match interview Bullets coach Kallisto Pasuwa said they deliberately slowed the tempo of the game in the second half.
He said: “We were trying to manage the game. You know the boys are tired and in most cases we were trying to slow the game down.”
Chitipa coach McDonald Mtetemela said they struggled to come back into the game after conceding two goals.
“The players gave out their best, it’s unfortunate that we conceded those early goals.”