GREEN Buffaloes yesterday defied football hierarchy beating Zesco United to storm the Barclays Cup final for the second time after losing to Power Dynamos in 2009.
And Nkwazi beat Zanaco 5-3 on penalties after a 1-1 draw in regulation time sending the police command led by Inspector General Stella Libongani into celebrations.
Buffaloes, who lost 2-1 to Power in 2009, took the lead in the 13th minute with a Sebastian Mwansa classic free-kick. This was after Zesco defender Bernard Mapili fouled Oyster Mwakatambala outside the box.
Mwansa curled a free-kick past the Zesco barrier and beyond the reach of goalkeeper Brown Nyirenda.
Man-of-the-match Mwansa received a Barclays Bank cheque worth K1,000.
Missing goalpoacher Winston Kalengo, who is with the national team in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Zesco were blunt at goal.
Goalkeeper Jacob Banda and defender Dauti Musekwa are also with the Chipolopolo.
Zesco midfielder Cletus Chama shot over the bar in the eighth minute.
The Ndola-based side pushed for an equaliser and goalkeeper Fred Silwamba blocked a Lazarous Kambole shot on 28 minutes.
Midfielder John Ching’andu provided the pass to Kambole.
Kambole saw his shot hit the upright and in the 45th minute.
Barclays Cup champions Zesco put pressure on Buffaloes in the second half but lacked the cutting edge.
Buffaloes coach Bilton Musonda unleashed Mwape Kalunga and Christopher Katongo for Mwansa and Lottie Phiri, respectively, on the hour mark.
Zesco stand-in coach Tenant Chembo introduced Liuzio Juma for Chama in the 65th minute.
With goals nowhere near, Chembo withdrew Ching’andu for Mathews Nkowane while Maybin Mwaba replaced Chishimba Changala.
“It is a fantastic victory. Eliminating the defending champions was not easy but we were determined to reach the final. It was fortunate for us, Zesco didn’t have key players and we also didn’t have some key players. We are targeting the cup,” Musonda said.
Buffaloes were without internationals midfielders Jackson Chirwa, Buchizya Mfune and Friday Samu.
“As the defending champions, we blew it away. The players with the national team are an integral part of the team but those who remained did their job. It is a minor setback but we shall rise in the remaining three league games,” Chembo said.
NKWAZI 1 (5) ZANACO 1 (3)
Former international midfielder Henry Banda blasted his shot into the post as Zanaco ended the season without silverware.
After Moses Phiri and Fackson Kapumbu had scored, Banda stepped forward and fired the ball into the post and Nkwazi went on to win.
Aubrey Funga was the other scorer for Zanaco.
Steward Chikandiwa, Wilbroad Mutale, Rodrick Zimba, Chipungu Musukuma and goalkeeper Makasa Kalaba were all accurate for Nkwazi.
On the battlefield, Moses Phiri put Zanaco ahead on 17 minutes, nodding in a Kapumbu corner and two minutes later the striker nodded wide after a fine move.
Zanaco goalkeeper Toaster Nsabata was called to duty stopping Kalaba Chikwanda bicycle kick in the 21st minute.
Musukuma restored parity with a cracker after combining with Mutale on 23 minutes.
Musukuma was again on the scoresheet in last Wednesday’s 1-1 draw with Zanaco during the Super Division Week 27 match.
The Barclays Cup final is billed for November 21 in Lusaka.