Zlatko Krmpotic’s five month reign as Zesco United took a big hit on Tuesday after the team suffered its biggest away defeat in continental action since making their African debut 2006.
Zesco were crushed 3-0 away in Calulo by Angolan club CRD Libolo to see their 2017 CAF Confederation Cup quarterfinals take a serious dent.
Julsy Kaya scored twice in each half to n the 8th and 77th minute before Fabricio Simoes added a penalty in 79th minute to punish a wasteful Zesco.
The defeat saw Zesco tumble from 1st to 3rd in Group C tied on 6 points with Libolo who are 2nd after the home victory.
Tuesday’s result has left Zesco without a win away in Group C following their second successive defeat on the road .
Zesco lost their first away game in Group C 1-0 away to new leaders Al Hilal Obied on May 24 in Sudan.
Obeid now lead Group C on 7 points after beating Smouha of Egypt 2-1 in the late Group C kickoff on Tuesday in Sudan.
Meanwhile, Krmpotic is facing a serious battle to convince Zesco fans following his appointment in February.
The 2016 CAF Champions League semifinalists are failing to replicate last year’s form under ex coach George Lwandamina in the 2017 Confederation Cup.
Zesco now face an uphill battle to qualify to the quarterfinals with another big away match in their penultimate Group C match on June 30 to Smouha in Alexandria.
But before then, Krmpotic is back on trial over his stay on the domestic front this weekend when Zesco visit unbeaten Power Dynamos whom they have defeated in all their last four league meetings since 2014..
This match could just define the Serbians destiny before the team flies out to Egypt next week.
Zesco are 4th in the league on 19 points,one behind Power but have mustered just two wins in their last five league games since Napsa Stars beat them 1-0 in Lusaka on May 6 to end their unbeaten competitive run in 2017.