Lacklustre Zanaco beaten by CAPS United at Nkoloma
Zanaco on Sunday afternoon put up a rusty performance when they went down 2 – 1 to visiting CAPS United of Zimbabwe.
If the happenings at Sunset Stadium over the transfer widow raised eyebrows, today’s performance could have left more question marks on the preparedness of the conutry’s representatives in the CAF Champions League.
Playing a very tactical 4 3 3 formation at the start, coach Numba Mumamba named five new players in the starting XI, three of those foreign signings.
The ‘bankers’ looked a potent force going forward in the opening exchanges with Reuben Lokwa on the left flank, Kennedy Musonda running through the middle and brilliant Augustine Mulenga on the right while Seth Sakala was making late runs from deep in the midfield.
But CAPS were always looking dangerous on the break with Ronald Chitiyo the most dangerous of the attackers.
The best opening of the game fell to Lokwa who broke loose on the right but he failed to even trouble the goalkeeper as his shot went wide off the mark in the 17th minute.
In the 28th minute, the visitors won a free kick in a central position about 30 yards from goal.
The huge Zimbabwean shot stopper, Edmore Sibanda, walked up the pitch to the amazement of the partisan fans and he blasted a low ferocious shot which left Racha Kola no chance at full stretch.
Zanaco were by now failing to make any meaningful progress in the final third and Numba did not hesitate to ring the changes as he brought in Timothy Sakala for Lokwa in the 42nd minute and changed to a 4 4 2 formation.
Zanaco looked more in control after the change and were unlucky not to level matters when Musonda saw his shot come off the crossbar.
Zanaco picked up from where they left when the game resumed but they were again caught ona counter attack on the left and once Abbas Amidu had turned into the box, a strong cross at the near post saw Kola falter as he turned it into his own net in the 70th minute moments after he had made a point blank save from a Chitiyo shot in the six yard box.
The referee then awarded Zanaco a penalty. Mulenga stepped up to take it but he saw his effort come off the woodwork in the 75th minute.
Mulenga picked himself up and earned Zanaco another penalty five minutes later after he was brought down in the box.
Seth Sakala made no mistake from the spot to give the home side a face saver.
With up to six players leaving the champions at the end of the season, Zanaco did not show much fluidity in their play but will look to oil their joints with upcoming friendlies against Mamelodi Sundowns and TP Mazembe during the week before they play APR of Rwanda in the preliminary round of the champions league.
The Zimbabwean champions on the other hand will be satisfied with the result after they were beaten 2 – 0 at the same venue by Red Arrows.
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