ZESCO United’s preparations for the Orange 2014 CAF Confederation Cup campaign hit another low on Friday night when the Zambian envoys crushed to their fourth consecutive pre-season loss, this time succumbing to DR Congo, giants TP Mazembe.
At this four-club pre-season international tournament in Lubumbashi, Zesco put up a decent showing in the first half but crumbled badly in the second stanza as the goals rained for Mazembe, who lined up three Zambians.
With massive home support at the TP Mazembe Stadium, Chipolopolo playmaker, Rainford Kalaba put the Congolese champions in command on 63 minutes after being set up by Gladson Awako.
Six minutes later, Ousmane Cisse doubled the advantage for Mazembe when he finished off a Mbwana Samatta move.
Zesco’s hopes of making a late dramatic recovery were scuppered as Cisse, the Malian international, completed his brace in stoppage time after capitalising on a ball from Daniel Adjei.
Apart from Kalaba, other Zambian players who featured for Mazembe against Zesco were defender Chongo Kabaso and striker Given Singuluma while striker Jonas Sakuwaha was on the bench.
According to the Zesco website, coach Tenant Chembo started with skipper Jacob Banda in goal while Dauti Musekwa, Bornwell Silengo, Bernard Mapili and Chishimba Changala marshalled the defence.
International Justin Zulu, Cletus Chota, Mathews Nkowani and Kangwa Chileshe operated the midfield in a 4-4-2 formation while Winstone Kalengo and Lazarous Kambole were upfront searching for goals.
Kambole, signed last month from Konkola Mine Police, had three shots saved by Mazembe goalkeeper Mounkoro Ibrahim.
In the second half, Chembo introduced Chipolopolo defensive midfielder, Kondwani Mtonga for Zulu, Kelly Sichilya replaced Mapili while Chileshe Kabwe went in for Kambole and Jackson Mwanza was unleashed for Kangwa Chileshe.
Zesco, who a week ago hosted a similar tournament in Ndola and lost all three games, will hope to better their performance today when they face another Congolese side, Don Bosco.
In Friday’s early match, Zambian champions, Nkana, who will also be playing the Champions League, battled to a 1-1 draw with Don Bosco.
Picture : TP Mazembe