Nkana and Zesco United edged as Rusike and Abuya debut
Sensational Zanaco has moved out of the relegation zone following their 2-1 win over Nkana at Sunset Stadium on Wednesday afternoon.
The Bankers came into this match on the back of a seven-match winless run in the Super League while Nkana were on a three-match winning streak and were looking to go top of the log with a win.
Coach Manfred Chabinga made one change to the team that beat KYSA 1-0 last weekend handing Kenyan Midfielder Duke Abuya his debut partnering Duncan Otieno in midfield with Progress Kalenga making way.
The 25-year-old has joined Aba Red as a free agent after leaving Kenyan Premier League side Kariobangi Sharks at the start of the year.
Abuya started training with Nkana last week and has become the fourth Kenyan to join Nkana after penning a two year deal with Kalampa. The other Kenyans at Nkana are Duncan Otieno, Harun Shakava and Musa Mohammed.
BACK TO THE MATCH
The match was expected to be full of sparks and did not disappoint from the start. Zanaco drew first blood just seven minutes into the match, Enerst Mbewe with a well-taken finish from close range.
Nkana quickly reorganized and started looking for an equalizer with Abuya stringing some beautiful passes in the middle of the park. Nkana nearly leveled matters in the 37th minute when Mbombo put Ronald Kampamba on goal with a brilliant backheel but the landlord could not beat Toaster Nsabata who produced a fine save to keep the scores at 1-0 in favor of Zanaco.
The match was an emotional rollercoaster for the players and a fight almost erupted five minutes to half time with Kelvin Kapumbu, Kelvin Mubanga, and Idriss Ilunga Mbombo wall heavily involved.
Zanaco doubled the lead against the run of play nine minutes into the second half, Kebson Kamanga scoring a beautiful free-kick leaving Allan Chibwe in the Nkana goal with no chance, 2-0.
Manfred Chabinga made two changes bringing in Chisamba Lungu and Martin Dzillah for Abuya and Ronald Kampamba. Nkana pulled one back in the 65th minute, Martin Dzillah did well to bring the ball down and give ball who set up Fred Tshimenga with a backheel and the winger made no mistake as he beat Nsabata to make it 2-1.
Nkana pushed for a late equalizer but Zanaco was resilient and held on to make sure the match ended 2-1. The win takes Zanaco out of the relegation zone and gives Chris Kaunda his second win as Zanaco boss.
Elsewhere, Zesco United was handed their third defeat of the season as they suffered a 1-0 loss at the hands of High Flying Nkwazi at Edwin Imboela Stadium on Wednesday afternoon.
Eric Chomba scored the only goal of the game to give Nkwazi only their third win of the season and move them to 13th place. Tafadzwa Rusike put in an impressive full ninety-minute shift for Zesco on his debut.
The losses for both Nkana and Zesco United means there is no movement on the top half of the log and Green Eagles maintain their leadership of the log.
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