THE 2013 Super Decision title race has gone down to the wire

Green Eagles Football Club

THE 2013 Super Decision title race has gone down to the wire following Nkana’s stalemate with arch-rivals Power and Zesco’s triumph over Zanaco in yesterday’s Week 29 games that also decided Zambia envoys in African inter-club championships.
It will now be decided on the last day when Nkana face Red Arrows and Zesco come against Nchanga Rangers, who fell off the title race following a 2-0 loss to resurgent Konkola Blades.
Nkana drew 1-1 with Power many thanks to international Festus Mbewe’s equaliser at a packed Arthur Davies Stadium in Kitwe. Nkana, who would have wrapped it up with victory, have 56 points, two better than Zesco, who have had an indifferent season.
Permutations are that Nkana can win the title if they edge Arrows but could settle for the second place if they drop points and Zesco beat Rangers. Nkana can, however, still be crowned champions even if they lose but that can only happen if Rangers stop Zesco.
In the event that Nkana draw and Zesco win, both will be on 57 points but the Ndola outfit have a better goal aggregate.
Nkana have netted 41 times and allowed 23 goals while Zesco have 51 goals and conceded 22.
Nkana came from behind to hold Power in an enthralling match.
Midfielder Julius Situmbeko fired Power into the lead in the 33rd minute when he dribbled past a forest of Nkana defenders before unleashing a cracker past goalkeeper Charles Mweemba.
Power started the match purposefully and would have gone into half time leading by a comfortable margin but striker Graven Chitalu smashed his header into the upright on 20 minutes and went on to hit the cross-bar in the 39th minute.
Power defender Lawrence Chungu had a shot from a free- kick in the 22nd minute saved by Mweemba.
Nkana defender Donashano Malama could have scored on 23 minutes but his long-range strike missed the target by a whisker.
After the break, Nkana coach Masautso Mwale introduced Jimmy Ndhlovu and Claude Bwalya for Lottie Nyimbili and Kelvin Mubanga, respectively, to strengthen the midfield, which lacked creativity in the first half.
In the 63rd minute, Mbewe pounced on Chungu’s back pass to goalkeeper Joshua Titima to make it 1-1.
After conceeding, Power coach Tenant Chilumba rested Chitalu for Francis Kombe.
But Nkana continued tormenting the hosts and were unfortunate not to add a second goal on 72 minutes when Mbewe missed a sitter after some good work by goal-poacher Ronald Kampamba.
Power suffered a setback on 74 minutes when skipper Emmanuel Chimpinde sustained a head injury and was replaced by defender Govenda Simwala.
“It was a tough match. Power came out strongly on us in the first half but we had to make changes in the second half to improve our game. We have to beat Red Arrows in our last match to achieve our target of winning the league,” Mwale said.
Zesco United survived a late comeback from dethroned champions Zanaco before virtually sealing a 2014 Africa inter-club championship slot in an exciting encounter at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola, CHISHALA MUSONDA reports.
Maybin Mwaba coolly stabbed the winner on 76 minutes after some knit interchanges of passes involving Akakulubelwa Mwachiaba and Winston Kalengo.
Kalengo gave Zesco a dream start with a fine finish to a Kangwa Chileshe cross on seven minutes and he doubled the advantage in the 16th minute when he ‘stole’ Zanaco’s fair play move off the defenders before rounding off goalkeeper Raja Kola and slotting the ball into the net.
But the bankers quickly responded when Aubrey Zulu out- jumped Zesco defenders in the 18th minute.
Davy Daka, making his debut for Zanaco, caught the defenders napping with a neat finish in the 46th minute.
Zanaco could have gone ahead in the 61st minute but Henry Banda missed a penalty after Dauti Musekwa fouled Daka.
Mwaba scored the winner to lift Zesco to sole second place on the log.
Nchanga Rangers’ dream of reclaiming the Super Division title was shattered when they lost to Konkola Blades in Chililabombwe.
Humphrey Maseneko and Marvin Chipampe contributed a goal apiece at Konkola Stadium.
Sebastian Mwansa scored at the nick of time to deny demoted Forest Rangers a point as Green Buffaloes came from behind at Dola Hill Ground in Ndola.
Kelvin Mwelwa gave Forest a false start, netting from the spot-kick just after restart but Percy Bilyoti levelled on 80 minutes before Mwansa snatched the winner in the 90th minute.
Bruce Mwape had a cold return to Luanshya as Konkola Mine Police coach when Roan United, the side he helped transform before moving to Chililabombwe, confined him to the relegation zone.
Kabwe Chileshe scored Roan’s all-important goal on 63 minutes.
Napsa Stars came from behind to beat demoted Kalulushi Modern Stars in a tightly contested match at Woodlands Stadium in Lusaka to enhance their chances of surviving relegation, VICTOR KUMWENDA reports.
Sipho Mumbi’s second-half controversial penalty handed Napsa maximum points.
Kalulushi goalkeeper Lennon Muma was adjudged to have fouled Martin Tembo.
Mumbi converted the spot-kick on 70 minutes after former international striker Nchimunya Mweetwa had levelled in the 55th.
Shadreck Musonda put Kalulushi ahead on 40 minutes after dribbling three defenders before firing a low shot past goalkeeper Scott Ngokene.
Nkwazi’s days in the Super Division were yesterday left hanging when they settled for a goalless draw with Kabwe Warriors at Woodlands Stadium in Lusaka, CECILIA ZULU reports.
Nkwazi are lying fourth from the bottom with 33 points and need to beat Napsa Stars this Saturday to remain in the topflight. Napsa have 36 points.
Konkola Mine Police, who are fifth from the bottom with 35 points, face Forest Rangers on Saturday.
Nkwazi have scored 28 goals and conceded 33 while Napsa have hit the net 26 times and allowed 30 goals.
Warriors’ striker Owen Mwendabai missed a penalty on 49 minutes after Nkwazi midfielder Boyd Mkandawire handled.
Warriors have 37 points.