NKANA coach, Masautso Mwale has said victory over DR Congo giants, TP Mazembe has shown that his charges are making a gradual improvement for their 2014 CAF Champions League engagements.
The Zambian league kings on Sunday fired some warning shots to other contenders in the Champions League by stunning Mazembe, who are the four-time African champions, in a pre-season football tournament in DR Congo.
Nkana’s win came two days after the Kitwe side drew 1-1 with Don Bosco with Mwale saying there was more work to be done in attack despite the victory.
“It was a good game, the boys played very good football. But we need to improve in all areas of football especially finishing, because we could have scored more goals from the chances we created otherwise it was a good outing,” Mwale said in an interview. With MTN Zambia setting February 12 as the coronation date for the record 12-time league champions, Nkana made their intentions known on 22 minutes when Claude Bwalya sneaked between two defenders before firing home a Perry Mubanga through ball.
But Chipolopolo winger, Jonas Sakuwaha equalised for Mazembe three minutes later sending the home crowd into ecstasy as the scores were tied at 1-all at half time.
However, on 64 minutes Nkana were back in front through Lottie Nyimbili who beat the Congolese giants’ defenders to the ball.
Nkana again failed to hold onto the lead and allowed Mazembe to crawl back on level terms through Salif Coulibaly’s headed goal. Shadreck Musonda sealed a late victory for NKana when he scored on 89 minutes.
Despite eight minutes of stoppage time, Nkana, this time, managed to hang onto the advantage and seal a memorable victory over a Mazembe side which had lined up Zambian players in Sakuwaha, Chongo Kabaso, Given Singuluma and Rainford Kalaba.
Nkana were in Lubumbashi to fine tune ahead of their 2014 CAF Champions League preliminary round first leg away game to Mbabane Swallows of Swaziland on February 9.
Before heading to Swaziland, Nkana will face Nchanga Rangers this Saturday in the traditional season-opening Samuel ‘Zoom’ Ndhlovu Charity Shield semi-final match at Arthur Davies Stadium in Kitwe.
In Sunday’s early kick-off, Zesco United’s preparations for the 2014 CAF Confederation Cup suffered another setback losing their fifth successive match after a 1-2 loss to Don Bosco.
Zesco coach Tenant Chembo was left with a huge task of quickly moulding a winning squad before the start of the continental games.
Don Bosco took the lead in first half stoppage time through Maisha Chava but Zesco hit back on 53 minutes through Lazarous Kambole, setting up a thrilling end to this match. As Zesco were desperately chasing for a winner with Simon Silwimba and John Ching’andu landing some decent shots at the Congolese goal, defender Zimisileni Moyo turned the ball into his own net on 82 minutes to effectively hand Don Bosco the victory.
With time ticking away, Zesco, who lost 0-3 to TP Mazembe on Friday, now need to quickly rediscover their winning formula before heading into the highly-competitive CAF Confederation Cup.