Player Ratings: Zanaco 3-0 GAF FC
Zanaco started their CAF Champions League campaign a convincing victory over Gambian Air Force side.
Martin Phiri scored brace while Ziyo Tembo got the other goal.
Toaster Nsabata – 7
He didn’t concede and his throws to help counter attacks were excellent especially in the first half when he released Ernest Mbewe on the right. He was composed when coming out to play with his feet but his yellow card came when he shouldn’t have come out: it was a 3-on-1 scenario with Ziyo and Big George involved – it was needless for the keeper to not only leave his line but come out of the 18-area. He needs to calm down.
Jimmy Nakena – 7
Composed performance and he showed why Taonga won’t see much game time in that position this season. Whereas Taonga loves to attack and take free-kicks and being covered behind, the former Nchanga Rangers man is solid behind and very good going forward and will be a good asset this season. He closed his side better that his teammate Zimisileni Moyo.
Is he the new Mordon Malitoli?
Zimisileni Moyo – 8
One of his best games in the recent past though his industry and excellent passes should have gotten him a 9 had it not been wastage of crosses; He was always hitting them either too hard or too soft. In the absense of Augustine Mulenga, he gave Charles Zulu good support with powerful, purposeful and well timed forward forages. His highlight was the tackle that stopped a GAFFC attack when he was alone facing three attackers and would have been left for dead had he fluffed the tackle.
George Chilufya – 8
The former Nchanga Rangers captain had another tidy game and was a threat in front whenever he went for corners. Simply impregnable, George Chilufya is a monolith that needs a crane to be moved for a striker to see the goal mouth. He doesn’t have the finest and silkest of plays but he is always there for ZANACO in CAF and so was the case today.
Ziyo Tembo – 9
Spotting his new number 3, captain fantastic produced his usual classic game; timed tackles, crucial interceptions and attacking headers at set-pieces. The cherry on top on the opening goal when Nkoloma Stadium was starting to doubt. If ZANACO ExCom needs a reason to be happy with not having sold Toaster and Ziyo, the pair’s contribution towards the clean-sheet that denied the Gambians an away goal is one such reason. He led from the back, led from the front and also avoided a yellow.
Boyd MUSONDA – 7
Seeing Isaac Chansa sitting on the steps in the grandstand during this game shows how far Boyd is transitioning from a star of the future to a player for the moment. Today his game had tidy long passes including one to Giuly
Manziba and another to Ernest which should have both produced goals. Despite not producing a single thunderbolt from distance as is usually the case, his second half freekick forced one of the saves of the game. The number 21 is ready for the big time.
Ernest Mbewe – 7
In the first half, he tormented the Gambians and despite his in-road runs he failed to make an assist. In the second half he lost the plot and blasted over the bar when the onion bag was begging to be shaken. Seconds later he wasted a chance to score when he chose to square the ball. After that the man who was one of the best players at the just-ended CHAN tournament lost his way and it was a matter of time before he made way. However, he with Charles Zulu did enough to show that ZANACO will survive without Augustine Mulenga and with USD 350,000 from Orlando Pirates in the kitty.
Rusike Tafadzwa – 8
Rusike comes to Zambia with a heavy tag of expectation on his back being a player of high pedigree. The former CAPS United player took Isaac Chansa’s place with amplomb and showered Nkoloma Stadium with passes as if he was a bridesmaid throwing confetti at a wedding reception. Such was the grace of his game that he received lots of rounds of applauses from the watching crowd. My opinion is that he will do well against big teams in the CAF games but will struggle against smaller teams that depend on speed because he has lost a yard of his speed with age. He failed to give a telling pass all game and also failed to hit the target. But he had an assist for the first goal; he took the corner that Ziyo planted in off the ground into the goal with the Keeper gobsmacked! All in all, he was one of the best players on the day but not an affective one. He was a candidate for a substitution but surprisingly Numba gave him 90minutes. 8 marks for the number 8.
Martin Phiri – 9
9 marks for a number 9. He was a gangly youngster playing football in Mtendere and in Chainama when he started and no one gave him a chance. But he is a star now with a sinewy look. When he started ahead of the likes of Felix Nyaende, Mususu and Manziba it looked like a mistake but it showed early on that he had a lot to offer off and on the ball. He took his first goal expertly with Charles Zulu bursting on the left and ghosting a cross with outside of his right foot for Phiri to glance his header to the far post. ‘Yo Bally’ completed his brace with a goal you are more likely to see in an LD or PDFC game than ZANACO when he collected the ball near the centre circle and played 1-2s with Rusike and Mususu before blasting the ball pasting a helpless goalie.
Maisha Chavda – 6
Easily the worst player on the day. He lacked energy, industry and imagination. The former TP Mazembe and Buildcon striker was the marquee signing of the off season but he needs to pull his socks and roll his sleeves and get down to work because at ZANACO players need to be grafters. Waiting for chances to be the predator he was Buildcon will neither win him fans nor guarantee his starting place. It wasn’t surprising that he neither scored nor finished the game: being subbed first was an indictment and Numba as coach is not a slouch! Chavda will come good and goals will come but he needs to hit the gym first to gain fitness.
Charles Zulu – 9
Augustine who? The bit-part player of last season looks like a natural replacement for Augustine Mulenga. What a blinder of a game he had! An assist and more! He flummoxed defenders at easy and forced one great save.
Guily Manziba – 5
A game to forget. Missed a great chance and then fluffed his lines many times. He seemed too eager to impress simply because he was applauded onto the pitch with choruses of “Guily! Guily!” But anyone who knows Guily well knows that game involves missing easy chances.
Chitiya Mususu – 5
He was brought in to hold the ball up and release others but decide to try his luck dribbling and running with the ball making a nuisance of himself.
Subs Not Used Hence No Rating: Moussa Souleymanou, Mpiana Kitumbu, Richard Kasonde and Racha Kola.
Coach Mumba – 8
Good starting line-up, good reading of the game for subs and great result. But the tie is still alive.
REF – 6
Failed to handle the undisciplined GAFFC bench or caution the dangerous plays by the West Africans. The tackle on Ziyo should have been punished by a red.
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