Zesco United are now within one point of Nkana in the race for second place in the 2016 FAZ Super Division season.
Third placed Zesco beat Nakambala Leopards 1-0 on Sunday at home in Ndola at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium to send their guests down after three years in the FAZ Super Division.
A second place finish will hand Nkana or Zesco a place in the 2017 CAF Confederation Cup.
Defender Ayo Oluwafemi’s stunning free kick in the 32nd minute handed Zesco the precious three points just five minutes after the Nigerian replaced the injured Ben Banh in what was the 2015 champions final home game of the season.
As the scoreline suggests, Zesco found the going tough against a stubborn Nakambala who also had their highly-rated goalkeeper Moses Mapulanga to thank for keeping them in the game.
Zesco and Nkana have 66 and 67 points from two and one matches left to play respectively.
Zesco now travel to Mazabuka to face Nakambala on December 7 before heading to Lumwana Radiants on December 10 with their fingers crossed.
Nkana have a December 10 date against Forest Rangers away in Ndola in this dramatic late dash for a second place finish.
Meanwhile, the result is a big relief for the four teams above Nakambala namely Lumwana, Green Eagles, Nchanga Rangers and Mufulira Wanderers who have all survived the drop thanks to Sunday’s result.