NKANA’S brief stay in the 2014 CAF Confederation Cup looks uncertain


Nkana 0 Bizertin 0
NKANA’S brief stay in the 2014 CAF Confederation Cup is looking very uncertain after they were held to a scoreless and dull draw by Club Athletic Bizertin of Tunisia yesterday.
The draw at Nkana Stadium in Kitwe added to more apprehension about the 2013 Zambian league champions’ form, who have now gone six successive matches without a goal or a win for that matter.
There was nothing much to cheer about from Nkana especially in a first half when they had just one shot on goal and frustratingly employed high balls despite the hosts height disadvantage against Bizertin.
Shadreck Musonda’s 23rd minute volley from point blank range failed to beat Bizertin goalkeeper Ben Farouk when the Nkana midfielder sent his effort over the bar much to shock of the crowd.
The Tunisians on the other hand had two good chances earlier when Mossad Sassi’s header was parried by Rabson Muchelenganga in the 10th minute and three minutes later he saved a Khaled Melliti’s shot.
Musonda continued to be a constant threat in front of Bizertin’s goal after the break and in the 54th minute Farouk was at full stretch to deny him a goal.
Nkana were slightly improved after the hour mark especially with the arrival of midfielder Kelvin Mubanga for out-of-sorts Sydney Kalume in the 58th minute.
Almost immediately Mubanga made an impact but saw his long range effort parried by Farouk in the 61st minute.
Ten minutes later Musonda again was denied by Farouk who deflected another fine effort from the busy Nkana midfielder.
Musonda’s departure in the 85th minute was met with jeers after he was replaced by Rabby Lwambula who made little impact as Bizertin held on to get a vital away draw.
Nkana, who clocked 540 minutes without scoring a goal, must now beat their opponents away this Sunday in Tunisia to stand a chance of qualifying to the Confederation Cup group stage that kicks off on May 16.
“We have to continue to work hard and work on the finishing,” Nkana coach Masautso Mwale said.