Pasuwa scores double in Malawi

Grace Chingoma Senior Sports Reporter 

FORMER Warriors and Dynamos coach Callisto Pasuwa picked up his second silverware this season when he led Malawian champions Nyasa Big Bullets to the Airtel Top 8 Cup title at the weekend. 

This is the first time the Zimbabwean coach has finished the season with a double after having helped Nyasa Big Bullets win the Malawian league title this year. 

He has won the TNM Super League title for three consecutive times. And the former Zimbabwe international reached a new high when he picked another trophy, having won the third league title on the trot in October.

Nyasa Big Bullets came from behind to force a 1-1 draw with Silver Strikers before winning 5-3 on post-match penalties in the Airtel Top 8 Cup final at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre last Saturday. 

The result does not only mean Nyasa Big Bullets have added a second silverware on their mantelpiece after their TNM Super League title defence, it also  ended their four-year cup competitions drought as their last was in 2017 when they lifted the Carlsberg Cup, according to reports from Malawi. 

Pasuwa has won a league title in each of the seven years he has been a top-flight coach. He won four league titles with Dynamos in Zimbabwe before picking up another three with Nyasa Big Bullets in Malawi. 

The weekend’s encounter was a battle between the Zimbabwean gaffer and Zambian counterpart Dan Kabwe, who was chasing a double with Silver Strikers. 

According to reports from Malawi, the start seemed promising for Silver Strikers as striker Stain Dave put Silver ahead in the ninth minute before young striker Lanjesi Nkoma equalised for Bullets. 

The two teams could not be separated in 90 minutes hence post-match penalties followed. 

In the end Bullets goalkeeper, Ernest Kakhobwe, made the difference as he stopped a penalty from Silver Strikers’ to hand Pasuwa a double this season. 

Nyasa Big Bullets have established themselves as the most successful club in Malawi and have managed an overall of 15 league titles, and fifth in the last six years. 

However, they have not immediately translated that success in the African Safari where they were booted out in the first round of the CAF Champions League by South African Premiership side Amazulu this year. 

Speaking to journalists after his side’s latest victory, Pasuwa said he wants to beef-up his squad for next year’s CAF Champions League. 

Nyasa Big Bullets have already committed their participation in the competition. 

And Pasuwa, who has been engaged in contract extension talks with the club’s executive, appears to have committed for another season with the Malawian champions. 

However, Pasuwa has urged the club to beef-up their squad if they want to do well in the continental club competition. 

“The way that we played last time we have been facing the same problem, it’s our central defence. We have been promoting strikers in the past year, so we are lacking depth in terms of our centre-backs and wingbacks. So, we need, if we want to play in the Champions League, to have tall and very quick defenders who can pass the ball when on central defence. 

“When we played in the Champions League, we saw our weaknesses, so we need to consider all that when we are buying players for next year,” said Pasuwa. 

Pasuwa had a difficult season with the club as injuries and fixture congestion whereby the team had Champions League, CECAFA, and Super League and Cup fixtures. 

But at the end of the day, his experience, early-season consistency and calming influence prevailed over other fellow teams with more quality and depth such as Wanderers and Silver Strikers.

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