Zanaco walk tight rope in CAF Confederations Cup
Zanaco could have harmed their chances of progressing in the CAF Confederations Cup when they threw away a lead to draw 1 – 1 with Stade Gabesien of Tunisia in the second round 1st leg match played in Lusaka.
Zanaco started well with Dave Daka doing well to press the visitors with some good runs in the channels.
The best chance of the game in the opening exchanges fell to Rodrick Kabwe when a square ball found him free in the box with only the keeper to beat but he fluffed his effort for the ball to go wide.
Kabwe atoned for his mistake when he scored in the 25th minute with a thunderbolt that came off the cross bar to give Zanaco the lead.
Numba Mumamba did not wait for the break to ring the changes and he brought in Fashion Sakala for a less effective Potipher Zulu to support Daka in front
Zanaco conitnued to dominate possession but Gabisien where looking good and sharp on the counter attack.
Despite the two full backs Fackson Kapumbu and Aaron Katebe having good games, the cracks were evident in the centre of defense with both George Chilufya and captain Ziyo Tembo looking jittery every time they had to defend balls played through the middle.
Zanaco were lucky to go into the break with the lead when a mistake in the centre defense saw the Tunisian striker make a goal-ward dash only for his shot to come off the upright despite beating goalkeeper Racha Kola.
In the second half it was end to end with Zanaco looking to take the initiative going forward as the Arabs seemed comfortable to sit-back and play on the counter attack.
A poor clearance by Tembo saw the Tunisians capitalize with a good pass into the box which caught the defense off guard for the attacker to shoot beyond Kola from a tight angle.
The Tunisians could have taken maximum points when another counter attack saw the Zanaco defense chasing after the attackers but the bankers were lucky to see the short come off the cross bar.
There was jubilation on the Stade Gabisien bench after the final whistle a clear picture that the visitors achieved what they wanted while Zanaco know they have a mount to climb when they travel to North Africa.
Zanaco XI v Stade Gabisien
1. Racha Kola 5 Aaron Katebe 26 Fackson Kapumbu 3 Ziyo Tembo 25 George Chilufya 14 Richard Kasonse 11 Charles Zulu 10 Portipher Zulu (Fshion Sakala) (Augustine Mulenga) 23 Dave Daka 20 Isaac Chansa 13 Rodrick Kabwe
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