ZANACO 2 – ZESCO 3.
Leaders Zesco United opened up a 5-point lead at the summit of the Faz Premier League table this afternoon after beating defending champions Zanaco 3-2 at Sunset stadium in a thrilling five-goal fest that was incident-packed befitting a top of the table clash.
Zesco got the show on the road with the opening goal in the 17th minute when Enoch Sakala put Wedson Nyirenda’s side ahead with the games opener.
The visitors were then denied a genuine clear second goal in the 36th minute after the usually flawless referee Jan Sikazwe ruled-out Nicholas Zulu’s tapped-in from a Rainford Kalaba cross.
A minute later, Ignatius Lwipa chipped the ball over Zesco goalkeeper Charles Chisha to level scores capitalizing on a rebounding shot from his team mate and striker Winston Kalengo.
Kalaba made up for the disallowed goal just a minutes after the half hour mark with a fine low drive from just outside the 18-yard area that slipped under Zambia goalkeeper George Kolala.
The goal was the leagues top scorer Kabala’s 11th of the season.
Zanaco coach Fighton Simukonda was then sent off from the bench in the 71st minute for an unsavory comment he utter to assistant number 1 referee Kenneth Chinchenga.
Bottles and objects then flew as the 80th minute approached with Zanaco’s fans showing displeasure with Sikazwe’s running of affairs on the pitch.
Zanaco captain Numba Mumamba scored in similar fashion for the hosts to restore parity in the 83rd minute with his 10th goal of the year to calm the volatile fans.
But, just when everyone though it was over, Zambia and Zesco striker Jonas Sakuwaha powered in a header with the winner two minutes from time after benefiting from a Willy Chinyama cross.
Zesc are now unbeaten from 9 successive league games and on 32 points while Zancao stay put at number 2 on 27 after suffering a rare second competitive home defeat in one season at Sunset stretching back to over three years.
The victory was also Zesco’s first away win at Sunset where they have never won since been promoted in 2004
It was also Nyirenda’s first victory over Zanaco where he was assistant coach to Simukonda for the last two years before taking over at Zesco at the beginning of this year.
NCHANGA RANGER 0- LUSAKA DYNAMOS 0.
Lusaka Dynamos stayed in 3rd place and are now just one point behind Zanaco after drawing 0-0 away in Chingola to Nchanga Rangers.
GREEN BUFFALOES 2- KONKOLA BLADES 1.
Green Buffaloes bounced back from their 2-1 home defeat at the hands of fellow defense force side Red Arrows on Wednesday in a delayed week 8 games to beat visiting Konkola Blades by a similar margin at Independence stadium in Lusaka.
Buffaloes scored their winning goals through Noel Mwandila and Brian Chilando while Mathews Muleba got Blades’ consolation.
POWER DYNAMOS 1- KABWE WARRIORS 1.
New Kabwe Warriors coach Arnold Mtonga thought he was going to have a dream start on day 1 in charge when Henry Banda gave the visitors the lead in the 14th minute away at Power Dynamos who were also under new trainer Fodson Kabole.
However, Power replied 13 minutes later through defender Francis Kasonde who scored his 3rd goal of the season to see the two sides share the points.
Mtonga was appointed Warriors coach on Thursday after taking over from Levy Chabala who resigned last week to take charge at bottom of the table Zamtel.
Kabole on the other hand replaced Lawrence Mweemba in midweek although the latter remains as assistant for now to the former Nchanga Rangers coach.
CITY OF LUSAKA 0 – YOUNG ARROWS 2.
Young Arrows beat fellow promoted side City of Lusaka 2-0 thanks to goals from Sam Gondwe and Kennedy Kashima to usurp their hosts from 6th place and relegated them to 8th spot.
RED ARROWS 2- NATIONAL ASSEMBLY 2.
Troubled Lusaka clubs Red Arrows and National Assembly draw 2-2 at Nkoloma stadium with the hosts scoring through Dan Siyuni and Stanley Banda while the visitors had goals from Mwape Mwelwa and Friday Kabubi to thank for the 1 point.
FOREST RANGERS 1- ROAN UNITED 1.
Forest Rangers were looking set to record their first win of the season via an Arthur Siwale own-goal in the 1st minute at Dola Hill in Ndola
However, Ben Mwanza made sure that was not going to happen with a 47th minute equalizer.
ZAMTEL 2- NAKAMBALA LEOPARDS 2.
Levy Chabala, like his successor Mtonga at Warriors, was looking set for the dream start in charge.
But that was not to be for the bottom placed Ndola club.
Giant midfielder Kondwani Chirambo put Zamtel ahead in the 39th minute only for Leopards to equalize in the 59th minute.
Ben Michelo put Zamtel back in the lead ten minutes from time bur ex-Roan United playmaker Kelvin Bweupe restored parity in the 89th minute to break Chabala’s heart.