Nyasa Big Bullets have been knocked out of the Caf Champions League in the preliminary round after suffering a 3-2 defeat against ten-man FC Platinum at Barbourfields Stadium in Bulawayo on Saturday afternoon.
The People’s Team came into the encounter knowing that any goal scoring draw would secure their progression to the final qualifying round of the continental club competition.
Coach Calisto Pasuwa made three changes to the side that drew 0-0 in the first leg, bringing on board Patrick Phiri, Bright Munthali and Yamikani Fodya for Chiukepo Msowoya, Hassan Kajoke and Mike Mkwate.
The home side were the ones who started quickly as they scored from the spot through Devon Chafa after he was brought down by Gomezgani Chirwa.
Bullets responded through Peter Banda who scored a beauty following a defensive relapse from the home side.
Things looked to be in Bullets’ favor when the hosts were reduced to ten men following a reckless tackle on defender Precious Sambani.
However, Bullets were down again when Never Tigere capitalized on a defensive error by Charles Petro and Nixon Nyasulu to put the home side ahead with 9 minutes to go before the recess.
In the second half, Bullets were enjoying the lion share of the play and had a glorious chance to level the scoreline when Munthali’s shot was well saved by FC Platinum’s goalkeeper.
Ten minutes into the half, Banda perfectly picked out Phiri who subsequently blazed his shot over the bar.
Chiukepo Msowoya and Hassan Kajoke were both introduced in the half to increase their attacking prowess but to unlock the hosts’ defense proved too difficult, as every move was cut short without any impact.
Bullets were able to level the scoreline through Phiri who received a ball from Chimwemwe Idana before slotting past the advanced goalkeeper into the back of the net.
Just when every Bullets fan was excited with the scoreboard, the home side regained their lead after another defensive error from Petro and Nyasulu, 3-2.
With less than eight minutes to play, Msowoys saw his effort hitting the upright and after 90 minutes of play, 3-2 it ended.
The defeat means Bullets, for the second successive time, have been knocked out in the preliminary round.